Kannada star and Bollywood actor Ajay Devgn crossed swords over Hindi as national language
Bengaluru, April 28: A battle of ‘Woods’ erupted between Sandalwood and Bollywood when two senior actors locked horns over Hindi.
It all started when Sandalwood star Kiccha Sudeep, in an exclusive interview with KarnatakaTak, said “Hindi is no more a national language.”
He was upping his collar after south Indian films broke box office records in tandem.
Bollywood star Ajay Devgn responded to Sudeep’s comment in a tweet in Hindi saying: “Kiccha Sudeep, my brother, according to you, if Hindi is not our national language then why do you release your native language [mother tongue] films by dubbing them in Hindi? Hindi was, is and always will be our mother tongue and national language. Jan Gan Man.”
Sudeep then struck a conciliatory note to Devgn saying: “Hello @ajaydevgn sir.. the context to why i said tat line is entirely different to the way I guess it has reached you. Probably wil emphasis on why the statement was made when I see you in person. It wasn’t to hurt, provoke or to start any debate. Why would I sir (sic).”
Karnataka Chief Minister Basavraj Bommai jumped into the fray Thursday along with opposition party leader Siddaramaiah, KPCC chief DK Sivakumar and JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy defending Sudeep. Said Bommai: “What Kiccha Sudeep said was correct. A regional language is the most important as a state is formed on linguistic basis. Everyone should understand and respect what Sudeep has said.”
A few days ago, at the launch event of his film R: Deadliest Gangster Ever, Sudeep had shown Hindi its place. Commenting on films like KGF: Chapter 2, Pushpa: The Rise, RRR, and others hitting the jackpot at the box office, he had said: “You said that a pan-India film was made in Kannada. I’d like to make a small correction. Hindi is no more a national language. They (Bollywood) are doing pan-India films today. They are struggling (to find success) by dubbing in Telugu and Tamil, but it’s not happening. Today we are making films that are going everywhere.”
Earlier too, Karnataka had put its foot down on moves to make Hindi a national language. Siddaramaiah, DK Sivakumar, Kumaraswamy and others had said that Karnataka will never allow anyone to impose Hindi in one form or the other. They were reacting to Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s suggestion to make Hindi the language of communication. (Author is a Bengaluru based senior journalist)