THE ACTOR CALLED DEMONETISATION THE 'BIGGEST BLUNDER OF OUR TIME'.
A year since the implementation of demonetisation, actor-filmmaker Prakash Raj on Wednesday demanded an apology from the central government for committing the "biggest blunder".
In a post titled "To whomsoever it may concern", Prakash wrote on Twitter: "While the rich found ways to convert their black money into shiny new notes, this disruptive impact made millions suffer helplessly and the unorganised sector workers went for spin. Would you mind saying sorry for the biggest blunder of our time?"
On November 8, 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes which, he said, was aimed at "eradicating black money and terror funding".
Last week, Prakash -- a popular name in the Kannada, Telugu and Tamil film industries -- supported actor Kamal Haasan's views on "Hindu extremists". A month ago, Prakash had also condemned the "silence" of Modi on certain sections "celebrating" the murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh in Bengaluru on social media. He had said Modi's silence was "chilling".
A multi-lingual actor and producer with a fan base across south India, Prakash Raj was a close friend of journalist Gauri Lankesh for over three decades.
“Gauri’s father, Mr Lankesh, was our mentor, our teacher. We have been his students, and I knew Gauri for the last 35 years,” he told Republic TV soon after Gauri’s death.
Prakash had also said that though there were many vocal voices in the past such as Lankesh, DR Nagaraj and UR Ananthamurthy, intolerance for such voices had grown more recently. “I am really wondering where are we going towards?” Prakash had asked.
Prakash Raj has won 5 National Awards for films across industries in his long career. These are Best Supporting Actor for Iruvar (1997, Tamil), Special Jury Award for Anthapuram (1999,Telugu), Special Jury Award for various movies (2003, multiple languages), Best Actor for Kanchivaram (2007, Tamil), and Best Film for Puttakkana Highway (2010, Kannada).
An actor who wants to return his awards shouldn't accept any, Union Minister and former Karnataka Chief Minister Sadanand Gowda said of veteran actor Prakash Raj, who has been chosen to receive a new accolade on Tuesday.
Earlier this week, Raj said he felt like returning his five National Awards to the government, while criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi's silence on social media reactions to the murder of senior Kannada journalist Gauri Lankesh. But Raj later said he would not return his awards.
The killers of Gauri Lankesh, a close friend of Raj's, have still not been found.
"He is very good actor...but nowadays his ideologies support the Left, and that is not in line with what people think today. An actor who says he wants to return his award should not also accept an award - this is my personal opinion," Gowda said.
The star of Iruvar, Anthapuram and Puttakkana Highway, Raj has been chosen to receive the Dr Kota Shivaram Karanth Huttara Prashanth, in recognition of his contribution to cinema.
BJP members on the selection board have now refused to attend the ceremony.
Here's the video message in which Prakash Raj denies that he wants to return his awards. "I am not such a fool to give back the National Awards, which have been given to me for my body of work, and which I'm very proud of," he said.
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