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Thousands celebrate Rajkumar's contribution to Kannada cinema

Staff Reporter

Leaders, actors recall thespian's services; State needs his guidance: Siddaramaiah



ANOTHER HONOUR FOR `ANNA': Kannada matinee idol Rajkumar being felicitated at `Sartaka Suvarna' by the Chief Minister, N. Dharam Singh (right), and the Deputy Chief Minister, Siddaramaiah, in Bangalore on Saturday. The actor's wife, Parvathamma Rajku mar, looks on. — Photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy

BANGALORE: Kannada thespian Rajkumar was felicitated by the State Government at a grand function at the Palace Grounds here on Saturday. The event was organised in connection with his completion of 50 years in Kannada cinema.

The function was graced by top leaders, including the Chief Minister, N. Dharam Singh; the Deputy Chief Minister, Siddaramaiah; the Minister for Water Resources and Transport, M. Mallikarjun Kharge; and many of their Cabinet colleagues, and a galaxy of film personalities.

`Actor-activist'

They recalled the great performances of Mr. Rajkumar and his simplicity and the way he has endeared himself to the people of the State.

They spoke of his role as an activist who always fought for the welfare of the State and Kannada language.

Addressing a gathering estimated at over 50,000, Mr. Singh promised that he would continue to work for the welfare of the State and the Kannada language.

`Committed to Kannada'

Mr. Singh reiterated that the coalition Government is committed to the cause of Kannada and upholding its supremacy on all fronts. It is also committed to solve the problems of the Kannada cinema industry, he said.

Mr. Siddaramaiah said: "The State is in need of Mr. Rajkumar's guidance considering his vast experience."

The Minister for Information and Publicity, B. Shivaram, released the book Bangaarada Manushya (named after the thespian's most acclaimed film based on the late T.K. Rama Rao's novel) authored by A.N. Prahlad Rao, an officer with the Department of Information, in honour of Mr. Rajkumar.

Schemes

Explaining the programmes and schemes implemented for the development of Kannada cinema, Mr. Shivaram said that the Government would implement the anti-piracy law next month to protect the interests of producers.

The film actor and MLC "Mukhyamantri" Chandru urged the Government to make "Kannada inevitable in all fields and exhibit its will to implement Kannada in administration in toto."

The Government should immediately withdraw its recent order that gives blanket permission to shoot Kannada films anywhere in the country as it would push the 16,000 cinema workers in the State to hardship, he said.

Baragur cut up

The former Chairman of the Kannada Development Authority and writer, Baragur Ramachandrappa, said that the book released in Mr. Rajkumar's honour has been titled Banagarada Manushya. But his achievements were the products of his own blood and sweat.

Prof. Ramachandrappa took objection to a request sent by the organisers while he was building up his speech.

"I have been requested to deliver the felicitation speech. I need a minimum of 10 minutes to speak about the matinee idol. But the organisers are now asking me to conclude my speech in two minutes. This kind of attitude does not go down well with the magnitude of the felicitation," he said.

Mr. Ambarish, recalled his association with Mr. Rajkumar. "I had the privilege to act as his younger brother in the film Odahuttidavaru.

`No fights'

When the story was being discussed I made it clear that there should be no fights or other unpleasant scenes between `Anna' and me.

My condition was agreed. But later I learnt that `Anna' had instructed that Ambarish be given prominence."

Film artistes Kumar Bangarappa, Jayanthi and Umasri spoke on Mr. Rajkumar.

People's love

Responding to the honour, Mr. Rajkumar said he was able to attain this stature because of people's love and affection.

The Secretary Information and Publicity, C.S. Kedar welcomed the gathering.

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