A group of Non-Indian Residents (NRIs) staged a protest against the Movie Artists' Association (MAA) in Dallas in the United States on Saturday, over the latter's silence on the issue of Special Category Status (SCS) to Andhra Pradesh.
MAA, which had organised a silver jubilee celebration in Dallas, had also invited actor-politician Chiranjeevi as a chief guest for the function.
However, he was met with several protesters who had gathered at the Allen convention centre in Dallas and raised slogans demanding justice.
They also vented their ire at the Telugu film industry for failing to take a stand on the contentious issue, over the development of their home state.
According to reports, messages to boycott the event did the rounds on social media, leaving the fund-raising event a failure, compared to usual events with Tollywood actors in the US, which are always a huge hit.
Speaking to reporters, one protester said, "We are all natives of Andhra Pradesh and we have gathered here as MAA has come here asking for funds. We have some questions for them. Why is the Telugu industry silent on issues like SCS and the Centre's failure to implement promises made during the state's bifurcation?"
"Compare it to the Tamil film industry which has been vocal about issues like the Cauvery river dispute or Jallikattu. They put their differences aside and come on one stage together. Why aren't you people speaking? Is it because all your interests are in Telangana and nothing is in Andhra Pradesh? We buy all your tickets when your films release here and give you multi-crore profits, just to stay quiet?" he asked.
The protesters also specifically named Chiranjeevi as he was an MP during the time of the state's bifurcation.
"What have you done for the state in Parliament? When Telangana leaders were fighting, you were quiet, and instead you were more interested in attending audio launches and film releases. If you don't speak, we will start boycotting your films," one protester warned.
The protesters also said that Special Category Status was a right of the state along with the promises and provisions of the AP Reorganization Act, 2014.