RGV meets rival families, rules out compromise on ‘Vangaveeti’

Vijayawada, Dec 3 (IANS) Controversial filmmaker Ramgopal Verma on Saturday met members of the Vangaveeti and Diveneni families here but refused to compromise on his upcoming Telugu movie “Vangaveeti” — based on a feud between two clans from two different castes.

After meeting Vangaveeti Ratnakmari and her son Vangaveeti Radha Krishna, Verma drove to the residence of their rival Deveneni “Nehru” Rajasekhar’s to call on him to discuss the row.

The well-known director also clarified that the film is not against any caste and that apprehensions of violence are unfounded.

Following the meeting with Vangaveeti family, Verma tweeted that there were unresolved problems, but contended that he had made it clear that he will not compromise.

“Just met Radha and his mother… Meeting did not go half well… Problems… I will not compromise… Have to see what happens,” he tweeted.

“I saw many serious warnings. First time I saw very smilingly serious warnings. Dangerous but I will not compromise on my vision of Vangaveeti,” added RGV, as Verma is popularly known.

The audio of “Vangaveeti” is scheduled to be released on Saturday evening but the uncertainty prevails over the event in the wake of controversy.

Radha Krishna told reporters that the family apprised Verma of its objections to the film. He pointed out that the matter is pending in court.

Verma and producer Dasari Kiran Kumar gave an undertaking in the Hyderabad High Court on Monday that they will remove objectionable scenes and a song in the trailer.

Petitioner Vangaveeti Radha had complained that the filmmakers had distorted facts and uploaded the trailer on the Internet without certification from CBFC as they are required to do under the provisions of the Cinematograph Act.

Radha said that the song and some scenes of the movie would provoke enmity between the Kamma and Kapu communities, which are predominant in coastal Andhra Pradesh.

RGV had announced earlier this year that “Vangaveeti”, on the evolution of hooliganism in the 1980s in Vijayawada, will be his last film in Telugu.

According to him, the story starts with the killing of Chalasani Venkatarathnam by Vangaveeti Ranga in the 1970s.

Ranga, a leader of Congress party and belonging to the Kapu community, was murdered in 1988 when he was on hunger strike, sparking unprecedented violence in Vijayawada and other parts of Krishna district as well as neighbouring districts. More than 40 people were killed and property worth over Rs 100 crore was damaged.

The violence abated after then Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N.T. Rama Rao made his Telugu Desam Party (TDP) legislator Devineni ‘Nehru’ Rajasekhar surrender. Then Home Minister Kodela Sivaprasada Rao also had to resign.

Ranga’s followers suspect that RGV has portrayed their leader in a bad light. They have also raised objections to using his surname for the film.

The filmmaker had promised his earlier film on gang rivalry “Raktacharitra”, would look like a children’s film before “Vangaveeti”.

“Raktacharitra”, a multilingual movie released in 2010, was based on the bloody feud between the families of Paritala Ravindra and Maddelacheruvu Suri in the turbulent Rayalaseema region of Andhra Pradesh.

–IANS

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