At the pre-release event of his upcoming film Acharya (in which he shares screen space with son Ram Charan), megastar Chiranjeevi recollected an interesting incident that took place in 1989. The star was once called to Delhi for the prestigious Nargis Dutt Award for his film Rudraveeni. During the high tea ceremony, the Telugu superstar was shocked to see South Indian films being ignored at the event.
"There was a wall that portrayed the icons of Indian cinema. I walked to take a look, great icons like Prithviraj Kapoor to Amitabh Bachchan appeared with a small synopsis about their work. My eyes immediately searched for South Indian stars but to my shock, only a still of MGR with Jayalalithaa and Prem Nazir appeared. They did not recognise stalwarts like Raj Kumar or Vishnuvardhan or NT Ramarao or Nageshwara Rao or Sivaji Ganesan or even the legendary filmmakers of our industries. I felt very humiliated at that moment. It was like an insult. They portrayed Hindi cinema as Indian cinema. While other films were categorised as 'regional films' and were not given respect," the star recollected.
Continuing his speech, the 66-year-old star said, "Today I am proud of South Cinema, Films like RRR, Baahubali, KGF 2 and Pushpa are creating and breaking records. Back then, I spoke about the issue but I didn't get any response. But today, we are respectfully earning the pan-India tag." Chiranjeevi also heaped praise on director Rajamouli for breaking the barriers, he also christened him as the 'demi-god of Indian cinema.' "Baahubali made me proud as it removed the demarcation between regional and Hindi cinema and proved that we all are a part of the Indian film industry. These films have made the Telugu audience proud. Hats off to SS Rajamouli for giving us films like Baahubali and RRR. He will be remembered forever," he said.
The star also assured that Acharya will break the myth that stars fail to give box office results after experiencing a thunderous win at the box office with a SS Rajamouli film.