Speaking at the success meet of his latest film, Balakrishna referred to veterans actors Akkineni Nageswara Rao Garu and SV Ranga Rao, who were contemporaries of his father NTR, in a derogatory manner.

Collage image of NagaChaitanya, Balakrishna and Akhil FilePhoto
Flix Controversy Tuesday, January 24, 2023 - 17:32

A day after Telugu actor Nandamuri Balakrishna referred to veteran actors Akkineni Nageswara Rao (ANR) and SV Ranga Rao (SVR) in a derogatory tone, actors Naga Chaitanya and Akhil Akkineni said that disrespecting such veterans is the same as degrading oneself. In similar Twitter posts, Naga Chaitanya and Akhil, who are ANR’s grandsons, wrote: “Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao garu, Akkineni Nageswara Rao Garu and SV Ranga Rao garu’s creative contributions have been the pride and pillars of Telugu Cinema, Disrespecting them is degrading ourselves.” 

Balakrishna is the son of legendary actor and former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh NT Rama Rao. NTR and ANR were two of the biggest stars of their era in Telugu cinema. Akhil and Naga Chaitanya’s father, and ANR’s son Nagarjuna has not commented on Balakrishna’s remarks. 

On Monday, January 23, speaking at the success meet of Balakrishna’s latest film Veera Simha Reddy, Balakrishna thanked several people who worked on the film. Speaking about one of the supporting actors, he said, “It’s good timepass for me if he is around. We would talk about vedas, shastras, my father and his movie dialogues, that Ranga Rao, this Akkineni and Thokkineni.” The derogatory tone used by Balakrishna to refer to senior actors and his father NTR’s contemporaries was criticised by many Telugu film viewers on social media. 

Read: Fandom or fanaticism: Are fans really ‘grateful’ to be hit by Balakrishna?

In his speech, Balakrishna addressed his father NTR respectfully by addressing him as ‘nanna garu’ in Telugu. He also showered praise on his co-actor Shruti Haasan’s father, actor Kamal Haasan. However, he referred to SVR and ANR in a derogatory tone, using the impolite term ‘Thokkineni’ while speaking about ANR. 

Also read: Veera Simha Reddy review: Balakrishna starrer resurrects the ‘faction film’ genre

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