Dr. Raj Kumar the Kannada Super Star passed away yesterday. Apart from what is talked in the media about him, I liked him as an actor and singer. Fed up of our bumbling in Kannada, our 4th Std. Kannada teacher told us to watch Kannada programmes on DD so that we could pick up the language easily. Kannada was my third language in school.
( I learnt Malayalam the traditional way, i.e. with a Vidyarambham that was done by an asaan in my Mom’s place. I wrote the letter aa in Malayalam on Rice. Nowadays I have heard that churches too have started Vidhyarambham in Kerala.)
Now I had the perfect excuse to watch TV and I watched quite a bit of Kananda movies those days. DD would show a lot of Raj Kumar movies. And I felt an instant liking for Raj Kumar. He was so comfortable in front of the camera that you felt like he was not acting. And the characters he played were very lifelike. Of course his movies were the feel good movies. He was also the only actor I have seen who treated his heroines like a gentleman on screen, No groping or any suggestive movements. He was the perfect Kannadiga, son, brother, lover and husband in his movies. Perhaps that is what appealed to the masses.
When Raj Kumar was kidnapped there was sheer revelry among the anti social elements and they went about looting shops and indulging in arson in apparent glee. It was evident from TV coverage that the arsonists were enjoying themselves.
Pity that anti social elements have take his death too as the perfect excuse to go on the rampage. These people have scant regard for the final moments of Raj Kumar and are using his death as an excuse to take to lawlessness. Somehow I think he deserved better. As I watched the ambulance carrying the thespians body stuck amidst the crowd I could not but help feel bad for him. I am sure all he would have wanted was to go home one last time in peace.
The media too is scared. Radio City has stopped all programmes and is only broadcasting Raj Kumar’s songs. Cable TV too has gone blank. There is a palpable fear in the city. The TV channels too are cashing in on the TRP bonanza. One Channel even showed a lady questioning Raj Kumar’s death. It was the most irresponsible piece of journalism. Such things just fuel the fire for opportunists and miscreants.
I still remember watching Mother Teresa’s funeral on TV. Millions of people lined up the route in silence and she made her final journey in dignity.
I hope the so-called fans of Raj Kumar will at least grant him that.