Mangaluru, Oct 11, 2017: Prakash Rai got a warm welcome by Congress and DYFI members at places like Kinnimulki, by the Dalit Damanitha Sangha at Santhakatte, and other groups near Kota on October 10, Tuesday.
Actor Prakash Rai garlands statue of Shivaram Karanth before accepting the award at Kota. Though dogged by controversy, the Karanth Huttura Prashasthi 2017 award function went off smoothly. Tight security was provided to actor Prakash Rai, under the supervision of DSP Sanjeeva Patil and ASP Kumarachandra.
Members of the Akhila Karnataka Nata Panth Jogi Smaja Seva Samithi, Jai Bhargava Balaga, Hindu Jagarana Vedike and some BJP workers had planned to wave black flags at the NH near Karanth Theme Park. However, before the actor reached the venue, all the protesters were arrested and the way was cleared for Rai.
After receiving the award, Rai said, "My statement was my anxiety towards the problems our society is facing. We are moving towards an infected society, where our own family is not safe. We want a safe and secure society for ourselves and our family. Any difference of opinion should be discussed, killing is not allowed as it is worse than cruelty.
"People who criticize me say I don’t know about Karanth, however, this is my place, Karanth is like my grandfather, his life is an example to all. He always said ’I am only answerable to my conscience and not others’ assessments’ and being his grandson, how can I be different? Karanth said, whoever eats beef, let them eat, do not hurt the animal to eat. His words were harsh but truthful," Rai said.
Later, Rai told media, "It is not important who won or lost. I was capable of getting the award and I got it, so I am happy. Developments over the past few days are an effort to control the freedom of expression. Karanth was a person with strong opinions about things, so am I. Attacking one man and his personality and isolating him with harsh words, will not be entertained in Karnataka any more. What I said was apt for that situation and I don’t have to explain it to all."
Tight security : Prakash Rai’s car was escorted from Mangaluru airport by seven police vehicles upto the venue. No vehicles were allowed at the venue, and entry was allowed only after checking. At the Theme Park, hundreds of police personnel were deployed.