Kannada film superstar Shivarajkumar comes out in support of the protesting farmers in Delhi

Published : February 11, 2021 16:42 IST

Kannada actor Shivarajkumar, a 2020 photograph. Photo: SREENIVASA MURTHY V.

Responding to mediapersons who solicited his views on the farmers’ protesting on the borders of Delhi, Kannada film superstar Shivarajkumar, who is the eldest son of Kannada film and cultural icon Dr Rajkumar, said that the government should take the protests seriously and that he was “deeply pained” when he saw farmers sitting on the road and having their meals. Considering that leading members of the Kannada film industry hardly take public positions on issues, his statement is a rare breach in Sandalwood, as the film industry is known locally.

However, Shivarajkumar also said that his support did not make any difference to the issue. He said: “What difference would it make if actors spoke in favour of the farmers? Those in the film industry are unable to address their own problems. Nothing will be achieved if film bodies or actors come out on to the streets. If anything can be achieved by our participation, I am ready to take to the streets. If I had power in my hands, I would have instantly acquiesced to their demands.”

Shivarajkumar also added that it was the duty of the government “to address the farmers’ problems” and that the problems should be resolved “within the framework of India”.

Commenting on Shivarajkumar’s statement, Kannada actor Chetan Kumar, who has a vocal progressive opinion on many issues, tweeted: “Glad to see @NimmaShivanna [Shivarajkumar’s Twitter handle] having concern for our farmers especially when the entire KFI [Kannada Film Industry] has been mum. However, I disagree with his claim that nothing can be accomplished by film fraternities coming to the streets. Lots of good can be done if cinema celebrities had will and courage.”