Kannada Chalavali Vatal Paksha leader Vatal Nagaraj staged a protest outside Urvashi Theater in Bengaluru against the release of Rajinikanth starrer '2.0'.
Vatal, a habitual protester, stated that films of other languages like Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam should not be promoted in Karnataka. "Films of other languages - Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam - should not be screened in Karnataka. The reason? In Kerala, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu there is no Kannada (films). In that view, films of other languages should not be screened in Karnataka. When there are new films in other languages, it should not release in our state for one month," Vatal Nagaraj told reporters at the theater.
The protest by Vatal found support from pro-Kannada organisations including the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike. Members of the organisation stood alongside Vatal during the protest. Vatal further claimed that the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce (KFCC) is working with producers of regional language movies which is "affecting the growth of Kannada films.
Despite the protests organised by Vatal, theatres in Bengaluru including Urvashi Theater, screened the film '2.0' and no untoward incidents were reported. Unlike protests against previous Rajinikanth films in which protesters managed to stop the screening of the film in several theatres, there were no such instances reported this time around.
In June, the release of Rajinikanth starrer Kaala was marred by protests organised by Vatal and the KRV. Several shows of the film including in places like Kaveri Theatre and Lido Mall were cancelled due to the protests.
The latest protest organised by Vatal follows a pattern that has developed in recent years in which the activist has been at the forefront against wherever he thinks an 'anti-Karnataka' decision has been taken. He has over the years positioned himself as the 'saviour of Kannadiga interests'. He heads the Kannada Chalavali Vatal Paksha, a political party known for its staunch pro-Kannada position.