Ajith Kumar's roots in Kerala had become a weapon for his haters and politicians to target him a decade ago. The actor was in the centre of controversy over his remarks, made in the presence of late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, on actors being prassurised to participate in political events.

Ajith in Nerkonda Paarvai
Ajith Kumar in Nerkonda Paarvai.PR Handout

DMK's Party Workers Angry
A section of DMK was upset with Ajith stating that he had shown his arrogance by making comments which had raised people's eyebrows. His ancestors are from Kerala, while his mother is a Sindhi. This had given people from politics and film industry to call him an "outsider", something that Rajinikanth has been facing all his life for his roots in Karnataka and Maharashtra.

After the controversy broke out, Ajith spoke to a daily to state that it was not politicians, but people from his own industry are creating troubles for him.

Ajith Considers himself a Native
"I have stuck my neck out, but it is my strong belief that it is not politicians or those in the business of governance who are creating trouble. They have more serious issues to handle and have no time to indulge in petty matters. But there is a group that wants a star to participate (in all such events) and if he does not comply and prefers that the government handle it, then the star's nativity and loyalty are questioned," The Times of India quoted him as saying.

He said, "I grew up a Tamilian." According to the actor, who is fondly known as Thala, cinema unites people and expressed his displeasure over bringing divisive tendencies to the arts.

"When a fan buys a ticket for a cricket match or a movie, he is not worried about the colour, creed or religion of the person sitting next to him. If you look at any actor's fan base in India, you will find that they are from different regions," Ajith added.

The Incident
At a felicitation ceremony organised by Kollywood to thank late M Karunanidhi for allotting land in Kancheepuram for deserving members of the cine industry, Ajith, in the presence of the then Chief Minister, said, "If we don't attend the protest, we are portrayed as anti-Tamils. On the one hand, they want us to participate in political events and on the other hand they threaten us not to enter politics. What is wrong in our entering politics if we are expected to participate in political and social events?

Karunanidhi health deteriorated on Thursday.STR/AFP/Getty Image

Actors only want to act and are not interested in taking a stand on issues. But they have been lending support to various causes under extreme pressure. I request the Chief Minister to issue a direction that film personalities should not be arm-twisted to attend social and political events,"

The event had the participation of whole of Kollywood and Bollywood's mega star Amitabh Bachchan was the special guest.