One of the greatest legends of Kannada culture passed away on Wednesday, and this is how his fans paid homage to him:

Rajkumar was truly the ‘prince’ of Kannada cinema. He was not just a great actor, but an icon of Kannada culture. To quote my friend KS, “Put Raj Kapoor, Dilip Kumar and Amitabh Bacchan into one person, and you have Rajkumar”. He was a simple man, who never got into politics. Post the Veerappan kidnapping, the state’s respect for him grew twice fold. In fact, he even suffered from a mild form of Stockholm syndrome following his kidnap. He respected his fans as if they were gods, referring to them as abhimani devargalu.

...and this is what they gave him in return.

Apparently the agitated fans went on a rampage because they were denied a glimpse of their Annavaru (elder brother), and thought that attacking the police and destroying public property would prove a point. 5 people have been reported dead after yesterday’s violence.

A friend of mine who happens to know the Rajkumar family was appalled at the attitude of the kannadigas who had come to pay their last respects. ‘Fans’ had destroyed the compound wall of the star, turning into actors themselves by faking sorrow every time a camera appeared in front of them. He told me that “Karnataka witnessed two deaths yesterday, the death of one of the greatest icons of Kannada culture, and the death of culture amongst Bangaloreans.”

Up north, young Javed Mohammed breathed his last after succumbing to third degree burns. Javed single-handedly rescued six children from a devastating fire at Meerut three days ago. His family members believe that he died due to medical negligence, and they resorted to throwing stones at the hospital where he was admitted.

Thursday was a sad day. A day of many deaths. The death of a celluloid hero, the death of a real hero, and the death of basic human respect.

May their souls rest in peace.


  • sou | April 14, 2006 6:00 PM

    very nicely written post.. must say you've captured everything i'd have wanted to say on my post about him.. which i see is quite redundant now..

    Ironic.. Rajkumar was the epitome of "ajaatshatru" - one who had no enemies.. well.. if you have fans like these..

  • autogato | April 15, 2006 9:07 AM

    I must admit that I am unfamiliar with this man, but he seems to have had strong meaning for many.

  • Rohan D'souza | April 16, 2006 11:03 AM

    Raj never mean anything for me. Except the DD channel where i would watch his movies (i had no choice then). Looking back i think he had done amazing movies and now have an appreciation for his acting maybe somewhere for him as a person as well.

    Riots are never caused by common people. Common people often wage thier personal battle of being in line with the law. Common people dont break laws even when thier own are effected.

    Riots are caused by people with agendas. This is just one of them. And i guess this kind of thinking is quite akin to south india be it tamil nadu, andhra or even kerala. Maybe even more frequent up north if not in its scale. Its just a refelction of selfish agendas put forward by putting everybody else in trouble. Maybe we really need to have a seperate Prathna Sabha for him once all this cleared and issues like these (violence) are brought forward there by some other leading personality.

  • Anonymous | April 17, 2006 11:47 AM

    History would have forgot (or atleast faded) Rajkumar with it's own pace just as it did with other great people in India but this incident will now keep him in the history books for longer than usual.

    People like me, who knew Rajkumar mainly because he was kidnapped by "Veerappan", would remember him as a person whose death was followed by 8 more unnecessary deaths.

    I don't know if this is good or bad and what our future generations would feel about it but this is the homage Rajkumar's "fans" have paid to him.

    If this is the price he has paid for being popular, loved and admired, do we really want to 'be' or 'have' another Rajkumar?

  • autogato | April 17, 2006 9:42 PM

    Just stopping in.