Filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma today jumped into the debate over Bollywood actor Ajay Devgn’s assertion that Hindi is India’s national language by referring to “an undeniable ground truth” about “north stars”.
Citing the recently released blockbuster Kannada movie “K.G.F: Chapter 2”, which has done tremendously well even in North India, Mr Varma accused Bollywood actors of being “insecure and jealous” on the success of their southern counterparts.
“The base undeniable ground truth @KicchaSudeep sir,is that the north stars are insecure and jealous of the south stars because a Kannada dubbing film KGF2 had a 50 crore opening day and we all are going to see the coming opening days of Hindi films,” Mr Varma, who has directed Bollywood movies like Company and Sarkar, said in a Twitter post.
The base undeniable ground truth @KicchaSudeep sir ,is that the north stars are insecure and jealous of the south stars because a Kannada dubbing film #KGF2 had a 50 crore opening day and we all are going to see the coming opening days of Hindi films
– Ram Gopal Varma (@RGVzoomin) April 27, 2022
The controversial director also backed Kannada actor Sudeep Sanjeev for his remark that Hindi is not the national language.
“Whether u intended or not am glad u made this statement ,because unless there’s a strong stir , there cannot be a calm especially at a time when there seems to be a war like situation between Bolly(north)wood and Sandal(South) wood,” he said.
Ajay Devgn’s “Hindi was, is, and will always be our mother tongue and national language” has found severe criticism from the south, with at least two former Karnataka Chief Ministers slamming the Bollywood actor over his comments.
Mr Devgn had made the comment while responding to Kannada actor Sudeep Sanjeev comments at the trailer launch of his film.
Taking a dig at the Hindi film industry, he added that Bollywood produces many pan-India movies that are released in Telugu and Tamil but struggle to find success on the same scale.
“Today we are making films that are going everywhere,” he said.
Reacting to the comment, Ajay Devgn tagged the Kannada actor on Twitter and asked him why he releases Hindi dubbed versions of movies made in his mother tongue.
“@KicchaSudeep my brother, according to you if Hindi is not our national language then why do you release your mother tongue movies by dubbing them in Hindi? Hindi was, is and always will be our mother tongue and national language. Jan Gan Man,” he tweeted in Hindi.
Mr Sudeep then responded to Mr Devgn’s counter, claiming he made the remark in a different context than how it reached him, and that it wasn’t to “hurt, provoke or to start any debate”. Making amends in the next tweet, the Kannada actor said he “loves and respects” every language of our country and said he hopes to see him soon.
The actors’ tweets, however, reignited the debate on Hindi imposition.
Two former Karnataka Chief Ministers – Congress’s Siddaramaiah and Janata Dal (Secular)’s HD Kumaraswamy – directly attacked the Bollywood actor, calling him a BJP mouthpiece.
“Ajay Devgn blabbered as a mouthpiece of BJP‘s Hindi Nationalism of one nation, one tax, one language & one government,” Mr Kumaraswamy said in a tweet.
Several movies from south India have recently seen unprecedented success at the box office not just in the south, but all across the country leading to a lot of debate on why Hindi language movies aren’t as successful in the south of the country.
The debate on Hindi imposition exploded again after Union Home Minister Amit Shah recently said that Hindi, and not local languages, should be accepted as an alternative to English. Opposition parties slammed the remark, calling it an assault on India’s pluralism and asserting they will thwart the move to impose “Hindi imperialism”.