Kannada actor Shiva Rajkumar on Friday, September 29 expressed deep regret over the disruption of actor-producer Siddharth’s promotional event in Bengaluru. A day earlier, pro-Kannada activists stormed the venue while Siddharth was interacting with the media. The protesters asked Siddharth to leave the venue, as tensions prevailed between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu over sharing the Cauvery water.
Addressing a protest organised by the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce (KFCC) in support of a Karnataka bandh called over the Cauvery water dispute, Shiva Rajkumar extended his apology to Siddharth. “We should never hurt the feelings of others in any manner. On behalf of the Kannada film industry, we are very sorry, Siddharth. I do not know who were those who did that, but we are deeply pained by it. This will never be repeated,” he said.
“Kannada people are really good. They love all people and languages. Karnataka is the only place where people watch movies of all languages” Shiva Rajkumar said.
Siddharth was in the city to promote his latest film Chikku, the Kannada-dubbed version of the Tamil movie Chithha. However, a group of pro-Kannada activists barged into the venue, causing a commotion that ultimately led to the cancellation of the promotional event. This forced the Tamil actor to abruptly depart, though he still urged the Karnataka audience to watch and support his work. The activists asked if it was necessary to hold his event amid the heightened Cauvery dispute between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
The Cauvery water-sharing dispute has once again come to the forefront due to poor rainfall in Karnataka’s Cauvery basin. The Supreme Court upheld the ruling of the Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA) and directed the Karnataka government, led by the Congress party, to release 5,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu for a duration of 15 days. On September 26, same as Bengaluru Bandh, CWRC recommended that 3000 cusecs be released by Karnataka. In the same meeting, Tamil Nadu demanded more water, while Karnataka said that it was not in a position to release any water.
In response to the water dispute, a state-wide bandh was called on Friday.