The Tamil film industry has reacted sharply on the regrets expressed by Tamil superstar Rajnikanth for the remarks he made during the height of Hogenakkal row between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu in April.
R Saratkumar, President, South Indian Artistes Association, an association of actors, termed it as 'a selfish act aimed at ensuring release of Rajnikant's latest movie Kuselan in Karnataka.'
'For what has Rajnikant expressed regret -- his speech or the fast organised in support of Tamil Nadu's stand on the Hogenakkal project? Was he saying that he should not have participated in the protest at all? He owes an explanation to the people of Tamil Nadu, who have made him the superstar he is today,' Saratkumar told a television channel.
Satyaraj, another actor, said in a statement that Rajnikant expressed regrets with the sole motive of ensuring smooth release of Kuselan in Karnataka.
'It is not only a disgrace to him but also to his fans in Tamil Nadu. If Kannada organisations threatened to stall the release of my movie, I would have happily compensated my producers from my pocket than aplogise,' he said.
However, veteran director Bharathiraja said Rajnikant had taken into consideration the welfare of film producers.
'His statement only reveals his humane nature and his wish to ensure his fans in Karnataka watch the movie,' he said.
Khushboo, a leading actor, also supported Rajnikant, when she said that there was nothing wrong in his regrets.Rajnikanth told Kannada channels in Hyderabad on Thursday that his comment 'kick them' made during the height of the Hogenakkal row was targeted at lumpen elements and stressed he was not at all referring to Kannadigas and pro-Kannada outfits fighting for the cause of the language.