Rajnikanth on Thursday, July 31 expressed regrets over remarks he had made at the height of the Hogenakkal controversy. Pro-Kannada groups accepted this apology and called off plans to disrupt Friday, August 1's release of his new film 'Kuselan' in Karnataka. Rajnikanth told Kannada channels in Hyderabad that his comment made during the Hogenakkal row was targeted at goondas and stressed he was not at all referring to Kannadigas and pro-Kannada organisations fighting for the cause of the language.
"It was a mistake. I have learnt a big lesson. What's important is that the mistake is not repeated. I will be careful while speaking in future and see that I don't hurt anybody."
Rajnikanth said he bows before good people but insisted he would not apologise to goondas. He also gave a clean chit to people like Karbataka Rakhshana Vedike chief Shivarame Gowda saying they are fighting for Kannada's cause and he was with them.
The apology came barely four months after the actor pledged his solidarity to the Tamil cause over the controversial Hogenakkal project.
"So many years ago, water has been divided, saying this is for Tamil Nadu and this is for Karnataka. After saying this is for Tamil Nadu, now if they say its not ours, don't we have to fight for it," Rajnikanth had said at a rally.
But every word is proving costly for the star who has fans in both states. Tamil film fraternity lashed out at the actor calling his apology as 'totally uncalled for'. The President of Tamil Nadu Artists Association, Sarath Kumar said, " He says he was wrong. He has grown up here. Such a comment at this point of time is uncalled for. If it is only for the release of his movie, I would say it is selfish and wrong on his part."