RGV, Radha escalate war of words over Vangaveeti

Vijayawada: The spat between film director Ram Gopal Varma (RGV) and Vangaveeti Radhakrishna over the recent film Vangaveeti has been going on with the latter throwing a challenge and the former accepting it with a counter.

Radha said Varma in his film on Ranga had misrepresented the facts to show the killers of his father in good light. Had Varma directed the movie for the sake of money, the fans of Ranga would have collected donations and given to the film director, commented Ranga’s son Radha.

Varma joined the battle by saying that he had far more respect for Ranga than Radha and Ratnakumari had for their father and husband respectively. “They could not have expected me to show Ranga as a toothless Gandhi or some kind hearted Mother Theresa or a Gautama Buddha who did not harm even an ant. He was a killer. He also did some social service. I have depicted the happenings at that time. If they think that I have twisted the facts they are free to produce a film titled Asalu Vangaveeti  instead of blaming me. I am ready for a fight. Basti Me Sawal. I don’t tell the centre and you don’t tell the time,” Varma said in lighter vein in a series of tweets.

He termed his tweet as ‘counter warning’. He said he has with him a lot of documented evidence which Ranga’s admirers would not like to see or hear and  “I desisted from including that aspect in the movie out of respect for Ranga. If Radha asks for those details I am prepared to spill out. My intention was to show the finer sensitivities of the persons behind Ranga and his brother Radha. I have been saying it right from the beginning. The problem is that the present Radha does not possess even one per cent of the good qualities of the slain Radha and Ranga,” rebuked Varma. Some persons of Kapu community have lodged a complaint against Varma for allegedly insulting the Kapus.

Both Varma and Radha have their reasons to escalate the war of words. Varma hopes to create popular curiosity in the movie so that the film does well at the box office. Radha wants to reinforce the image of his father as a Kapu leader who sacrificed his life for the poor people. This would fortify his image also in the process as a young leader of the community. Perhaps both Varma and Radha have their communities at the back of their minds while fuelling the divisive discourse. Radha and his party, YSRCP, have definite political interests. The Kapus had voted for the TDP in large measure in 2014 election. The party is keen on reversing the trend.

Earlier, Radha had called Varma names and described him as a waste fellow who does not know anything about recent history. “He is a pakodi. He tried to highlight Ranga killers. He has no idea when Ranga became an MLA and when he was killed. He has no clue to Radha’s murder,” Radha gave vent to his anger. He said Varma will have to pay the price for distorting the facts. Before bursting out, he garlanded the statue of Ranga on Monday on the occasion of the leader’s 20th death anniversary. YCP leaders Botcha Satyanarayana, Kolusu Parthasaradhi, Vellampalli Srinivas, Punyavathy Sheela and others paid their homage to Ranga.

A meeting was held at the party office in Vijayawada in which speakers recalled the services rendered by Ranga. The YCP City unit president Vangaveeti Radha said that Ranga had stood by the poor throughout his life. They criticised the recently released movie Vangaveeti as full of distortions. Malladi Vishnu, Congress leader who was a follower of the slain leader, said Ranga was like a God for the poor.

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