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Baahubali 2 to release in Karnataka as Vatal Nagaraj calls off protest

The makers of Baahubali: The Conclusion took a sigh of relief on Saturday when possibly, the last hurdle in the film’s way of release was removed. The Baahubali sequel has been making news for past few days, but this time, around a particular controversy.

Baahubali 2 was preparing itself for an uncertain release in Karnataka. However, the dark clouds cleared for director SS Rajamouli and everyone else associated with the much awaited film when Kannada activist Vatal Nagaraj announced that the pro-Kannada groups have withdrawn their protest against its release.

The announcement comes a day after actor Sathyaraj regretted his controversial remarks that he made in the past during a water-sharing row between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

“I warn him to be careful in the future while talking about Kannada or people of Karnataka. In case if it repeats, none of his films will be allowed to release in here. I’m warning him today,” Vatal said, while confirming that the pro-Kannada groups have accepted his apology.

In 2008, when Karnataka government objected to the Hogenakkal drinking water project of Tamil Nadu, the tension between the two states was at its peak. The film theatres in Karnataka showing Tamil films came under attack by fringe groups. The actors’ association back then held a protest meet to condemn the attack against Tamil films in Chennai.

Sathyaraj was one of the actors who made some strong remarks at the protest and he even slammed Vatal. After that, about 30 of his films were released in the state, including Baahubali: The Beginning without drawing the attention of Kannada activists.

Given that Baahubali 2 enjoys a lot of attention of the people and media worldwide, the pro-Kannada groups saw perfect opportunity to corner Sathyaraj, who plays a key character in the film called Kattappa. As many as 2000 pro-Kannada groups had threatened to stall the release of the film across the state if Sathyaraj did not issue an unconditional apology.

Baahubali 2 makers, however, tried to resolve the issue by distancing themselves from Sathyaraj’s passionate opinions and even sought the help of senior actors of Kannada film fraternity in vain. The pro-Kannada groups refused to settle anything less than an apology. And Sathyaraj surprised everyone by giving into the demands of the agitating groups, in order to ensure a smooth release of the film in Karnataka.

Vatal had called a press meet on Friday, where he was expected to announce his decision to withdraw the protest against film’s release. However, it was cancelled last minute for unknown reasons.

According to the reports, not all the members of pro-Kannada groups were satisfied with the way Sathyaraj apologised for his remarks. Many allegedly thought that Sathyaraj did not really mean what he said and he was doing it to protect the film from suffering a loss.

However, it seems like pro-Kannada activists realised that they do not have much ground to continue their protest after receiving a “wholehearted” apology from Sathyaraj.

This gives way to a smooth release of Baahubali: The Conclusion on April 28.