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Leaders recall Rajkumar's service to Kannada cinema

Staff Reporter

BANGALORE: Kannada thespian Rajkumar was felicitated by the State Government at a grand function at the Palace Grounds here on Saturday. The event was organised in connection with his completion of 50 years in Kannada cinema.

The function was graced by top leaders, including the Chief Minister, N. Dharam Singh, the Deputy Chief Minister, Siddaramaiah, the Minister for Water Resources and Transport, M. Mallikarjun Kharge, and many of their Cabinet colleagues, and a galaxy of film personalities.

`Actor-activist'

They recalled the great performances of Mr. Rajkumar and his simplicity and the way he has endeared himself to the people of the State.

They spoke of his role as an activist who always fought for the welfare the State and the Kannada language.

The Chief Minister assured the huge gathering that he would continue to work for the welfare of the State and the Kannada language.

Well-known actors such as Vishnuvardhan and Ambarish were the special invitees, and it was after a long time that the three stars came on the same stage. Mr. Rajkumar, with his hands on their shoulders, led them to the stage, even as this gesture sent the crowds into ecstasy.

The song "Akashave beelali mele ... " which Mr. Rajkumar's son and actor Shivaraj Kumar rendered perfectly matched the occasion and pleased the audience.

For every song that they heard over the public address systems, the crowd formed groups and danced around.

Enthusiasm

Mr. Rajkumar's fans thronged the venue in large numbers and witnessed the event with enthusiasm. Even as he entered the stage, the members of the audience competed with one another to take a look at their favourite actor.

There were other attractions such as hit numbers by Mr. Rajkumar rendered by budding actors Sunil Raoh and Murali. Fans of Mr. Rajkumar went ecstatic when Murali and his troupe danced to the famous song of thespian: "Nariya seere kadda... "

Most of the Kannada actors, young and old, were present on the occasion.

The police had a tough time in controlling the crowd. At one stage, the police had to use force to clear crowd that indulged in throwing the chairs around. The crowd was angry as they did not have a clear view of the stage and the giant screens were not properly working.

The police had to remove a screen that was torn off by the crowd.

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