Upendra has made a name for himself in the Kannada film industry with his powerful performances. He recently came under fire when he passed a controversial and casteist comment against Dalits during a Facebook live interaction. According to a report by The Hindu, two FIRs have been filed against the actor for his statement. The FIRs are filed against him under the SC and ST (Atrocities Prevention) Act.
For the unversed, the first one was filed by the assistant director of the Social Welfare Department, Madhusudhan K.N with the Acchukattu police, and the second one was filed by Byrappa Harish Kumar, state president of Karnataka Ranadheera Pad, with the Halasuru Gate police. According to the complaint, the police has charged Upendra for circulating a statement that promotes enmity and hatred between different groups on the ground of “religion or race and deliberate and malicious act to outrage religious feeling.”
As per a report by India Today, while talking about his political party Prajakeeya, he used language that was offensively perceived towards a specific community. In the now deleted video, he can be heard talking about how change happens when people express their opinions and speak up. While expressing how some people only speak up to troll others and insult someone, he added, “There are some who have a lot of time in their hands. They comment on whatever comes to their mind. Can't do anything about them. If there's a town, it will have Dalits. Similarly, these kinds of people also exist. Let's ignore them. Let's not read those comments.”
As soon as his statement started doing rounds on social media, it left people enraged. Many, including a pro-Dalit organisation, even started protesting in Ramanagara, Karnataka. A few hours after the video blew up he even issued an apology for his statement. He stated, “Today on Instagram and Facebook Live, I accidentally made a wrong statement. As soon as I learned that it has hurt the sentiments of people, I deleted that video from my social media. I apologize for my statement.”
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