Bengaluru: Rejecting earlier reports of him returning the national awards in protest against senior Kannada editor and activist Gauri Lankesh's murder, south Indian actor Prakash Raj said that he was a not a fool to do that.
“I am not such a fool to give back my national awards. It has been given to me for my body of work,” the actor clarified in a video posted on his Twitter profile.
He also said that it was disappointing to see the PM follow those celebrating Lankesh's murder on social media. He went on to say that his silence is chilling and has hurt him a lot.
Earlier while speaking at the 11th state meet of Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI), he said, "Gauri's killers have not been caught yet. But what is more disappointing is people celebrating her murder over social media are spreading hatred.”
"Some of these people who celebrated her (Gauri's) murder are followed by our prime minister (Narendra Modi) on Twitter. We have a PM who shuts his eyes to this," he said.
Immediately hitting out at Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, Raj said, "When you look at the kind of statements he (Adityanath) makes, you don't understand whether he's a chief minister or a priest."
"He (Adityanath) is a better actor than me. I think I must give out all my five national awards to him," he said on a sarcastic note.
Raj, a popular actor in Kannada, Telugu and Tamil film industries, has won five National Film Awards for his movies.
The 55-year-old editor of Kannada weekly tabloid by her name "Gauri Lankesh Patrike" was gunned down by unidentified men outside her home in the city suburbs on September 5.
The Special Investigation Team set up to probe the murder were yet to nab her killers.