Amid reports that Rajinikanth has been offered to play the role of king Tipu Sultan in a new movie, right-wing outfits have objected to it, saying the superstar should not act in it.
Rajinikanth has not commented on the issue or on the fact whether he has accepted the role but that has not stopped the right wing group in issuing an ultimatum against the project.
"Rajnikanth is a patriot to the core. He will not accept such roles. I know him well," BJP National Executive member L Ganesan, also a former state unit chief of the party, told PTI when asked to comment on the issue.
Another BJP member H Raja alleged that Tipu Sultan was a tyrant. "So, if someone is making a movie, showing him as a hero, it is distortion of history. No Tamil actor should be a part of such film. Rajinikanth should not do the film," he said.
Founder of Hindu Munnani (Hindu Front), Rama Gopalan, first objected to the movie, saying, "We request the Tamil cinema industry, which loves Tamils and Tamil Nadu, to not to appear in a film about the communal ruler. They should assure that even if such films are produced in other languages, they will not release them here."
When contacted, sources close to Rajnikanth declined to comment on the issue.
Bengaluru-based producer Ashok Kheny, who offered the role to Rajinikanth, seemed baffled by the controversy.
"It (movie on Tipu Sultan) is still in a conceptualisation stage. I have discussed about the idea of doing a movie on Tipu with Rajinikanth, because Tipu's story was suppressed by British. He had asked me to come out with a script," Kheny, who is also a member of Karnataka Legislative Assembly, told PTI.
Reacting to the opposition regarding Rajinikanth acting in the proposed movie, he said, "I don't know why they are doing all this. If Tipu was such a divisive figure then why do we have lessons on him for our children? They are doing it just to create controversy...
"We have heard that there were Hindu temples in his court towards which he showed highest regard, many of his close confidants were Hindus, with all this how can he be anti-Hindu," he asked.