Upset Mega Star hits back, refuses felicitation at the Telugu cinema platium jubilee celebrations Seeks an explanation why stalwarts like Vijaya Nirmala and Krishnam Raju were left out
Comes onto the dais after repeated appeals by anchor Rajendra PrasadRefuses to accept felicitations at Telugu film platinum jubilee fete
HYDERABAD: Airing his displeasure at several stalwarts being left out of the platinum jubilee celebrations organised by the Telugu film industry, a peeved Padma Shri awardee and actor Mohan Babu created a flutter by refusing to accept the felicitations outright.
He even refused to come onto the stage and after some repeated appeals by anchor Rajendra Prasad, he walked onto the dais and greeted Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy and Union Minister Dasari Narayana Rao. However, when senior producer Rama Naidu tried to cajole him, he moved away in anger.
A visibly annoyed Mohan Babu said he had come onto the stage out of his respect for the Chief Minister and the Union Minister and he said he would explain the reasons for refusing the felicitation later in the programme.
Later, Mr. Mohan Babu in an emotional speech wanted to know why prominent figures of the industry were ignored and why the legendary honour was being extended to just one person, hinting at the felicitations to Mega Star Chiranjeevi.
"What is the definition of a legend?" he asked and sought an explanation why stalwarts like Vijaya Nirmala and Krishnam Raju who were legends in their own right were ignored on the occasion, he said inviting loud applause from the audience.
"I cannot accept this award when legends like them are ignored," he said.
Stating that he would speak his heart out, he also hinted at rampant caste discrimination and dominance of caste factor in the industry. He said a majority of film industry people, including prominent directors like E.V.V. Satyanarayana, did not even get invitations.
Mr. Dasari in his speech did not mince words while criticising the state-of-affairs in the Telugu film industry. He said there was no respect for producers or technicians and if the present scenario continued, the crisis in the industry would worsen.
"It is time we contemplate about problems plaguing the industry and ensure a bright future to it," he said while expressing his displeasure that the industry had not even thought of such discussion during these celebrations. He reminded that it was the Congress Government alone that had given several sops to the industry, bailing it out from the crisis it was in.
On a night of high drama, the celebrations had Mega Star Chiranjeevi refusing the felicitation. Apparently stung by the sudden outburst of Mohan Babu, he did not accept the honour at the event, which had ran into rough weather following the absence of some prominent personalities.
Later, speaking on the occasion, Chiranjeevi, in an emotional tone, surrendered the honour of legend and had it kept in a `Time Capsule', that the organisers had kept at the venue to be opened 25 years later when the industry touches the century mark.
"There are many deserving persons. I am not deserving yet. If you feel I deserve it then, I will be happy to accept at that occasion," he said, in a forceful reply to Mohan Babu's diatribe on his selection for the honour.
He also decried the voices of difference that erupted on the stage and called the industry to remain united. "They are differences even in the family, but do we drag them to the streets. It is best settled among ourselves," he remarked.
Actors often tend to get carried away by the star status that is built around them by the media, he said.
"There is a temptation to get mislead ourselves as gods and demi-gods which is not true. The reality is we should be harnessed to our roots," he said.