As the protests against the release of Baahubali: The Conclusion reached a fever pitch, the film’s director SS Rajamouli released a video appeal on Facebook to all Kannadigas to allow the film to be released.
Pro-Kannada groups had taken exception to comments allegedly made by actor Sathyaraj in relation to the Cauvery issue some years ago. According to these groups, Sathyaraj had allegedly referred to Kannadigas as dogs. However, it is not known exactly when and where this comment was allegedly made.
Raking up the issue in connection with the release of Baahubali: The Conclusion, these groups, led by Vatal Nagaraj, announced that they would not let the film release unless Sathyaraj apologised for his comments or was removed from the film.
Speaking in Kannada, Rajamouli said in the video appeal that the film or its makers did not have any connection with the statements that Sathyaraj had made. “His comments, made some years ago, have pained many of you. But we do not have any kind of connection with those comments. They are only Sathyaraj’s personal, individual opinion,” Rajamouli said.
He added that the comments were from a long time before. And the makers were not even aware of them till the issue arose.
“Till we watched this video a month ago on social media, we did not even know about this issue. It has been nine years since he made this comment. After that, there have been many movies in which he acted or produced that have released in Karnataka. Baahubali Part 1 also released here. The way you have shown support for all these movies, in the same way, we request you to support Baahubali Part 2 in the same way,” he said.
He also added that the ban on the film did not affect Sathyaraj personally, but affected a vast number of others who had invested and worked on the film.
“Sathyaraj is not the director or producer of this film. He is one among the many artistes who have acted in this film. If this film is stopped, there is no loss that he suffers. We feel it is not right for so many people to be affected by the comments that only he had made, to show the anger against him on Baahubali,” he said.
Rajamouli concluded the video by saying that they had explained the situation to Sathyaraj, which was the maximum they could do in the issue.
“We have spoken to Sathyaraj and explained the situation to him. Beyond that we do not have the power to do anything further. We request that we should not be made to get involved in this issue that we have no connection with. It is our wish to always have your love,” he said.
Watch the video appeal here: