BENGALURU: Actor and activist Chetan Kumar on Wednesday stoked a controversy after he posted some critical comments about the film ‘Kantara’ on Twitter.
In his post on Tuesday evening, Chetan stated that, ‘Glad our Kannada film ‘Kantara’ is making national waves. Director Rishabh Shetty claims Bhootha Kola is ‘Hindu culture’. False. Our Pambada/Nalike/Parawa’s Bahujan traditions predate Vedic-Brahminical Hinduism. We ask that Moolnivasi (original inhabitants) cultures be shown with truth on and off screen.”
Following this, he became the target of some Hindus groups and right-wingers. Many criticised him for the statement, saying that he was only trying to seek media attention. Some even said that Chetan was creating a controversy between Hindus and the Brahmin community.
Meanwhile, actor Rishabh Shetty’s fans are attacking Chetan on social media, saying that a movie should be viewed as just for entertainment and should not be critically reviewed.
Coming under attack, Chetan held a press conference at his Bengaluru office on Wednesday to clarify his stand. “It is a matter of pride that ‘Kantara’ is doing well at the national level. Bhootha Kola is the culture of the original inhabitants and they existed from thousands of years. The Panjurli and Pili Chamundi are connected to the mula nivasi. There is a wrong perception that all this is parts of Hinduism. Hinduism has a 3,000-year-old legacy of culture and Vedic heritage. It has its own uniqueness”, he said.
He stressed that the word ‘Hindu’ was coined in the 6th century. “Hindutva is an idea of communalism. Parva, Pambada, Nalike come under Hindu religion. When you consider the original inhabitants and tribes, how can they be called Hindu? Male Madappa and Junjappa are part of Bahujana culture”, he explained.
“In Jharkhand, tribals are fighting for a separate religion. Here, some are demanding a separate Lingayat religion. One should understand the non-Vedic heritage. The Koragas are a deprived community. Among them too, the upper classes dominates the lower class. There is a practice where upper class people feed hair and nails to pregnant woman. The upper class conducts Kamabala and the lower class actually run the race. People are still being treated as untouchables”, he stressed.
‘Kantara’, directed by and starring Rishab Shetty, is getting worldwide recognition and huge appreciation. The film has also become the top-rated Indian movie on IMDb, pushing KGF- Chapter 2 to the second position. In the initial days, ‘Kantara’, was released in Karnataka alone. The film received an overwhelming response from across the country and was eventually released in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu. Now, the movie has broken all records in the film industry and is inching towards the Rs 100 crore mark.