VIJAYAWADA: Sending across a strong message that he will not be cowed down by threats, controversial film director Ram Gopal Varma arrived in Vijayawada on Friday, amidst a raging debate over his upcoming flick, Vangaveeti. The visit kept the police on their toes, as its purpose was to meet the rival families of Devineni Nehru and the late Vangaveeti Ranga.
On February 22, Varma had tweeted - “Going to Vijayawada on Feb 26 to meet some people for research on “Vangaveeti”, some people have warned me against visiting Vijayawada. I am daring them by telling them when I will be visiting Vijayawada and where I will be staying. In the same breath, I am warning them to visit Mumbai and see what happens.”
Since Vangaveeti is said to be a biopic of Vangaveeti Mohana Ranga Rao, whose murder in the late 80s had resulted in unprecedented violence and arson in Vijayawada, the police were worried about the outcome of the visit.
When RGV arrived at the Vijayawada Airport in Gannavaram, hundreds of fans had gathered to welcome him. Many of them wanted to take out a big rally, for which the police denied permission. The police heaved a sigh of relief, as RGV left the airport for a private hotel in Vijayawada without much ado.
Given the sensitive nature of the ‘subject of the film’ and the considerable following for both the parties involved in the feud that had rocked the region in 80s, the police higher-ups had deployed personnel in a large number.
On February 25, RGV tweeted he was coming to Vijayawada to hold discussion with the families involved, on the subject of his film Vangaveeti.
In a brief interaction with media persons on Friday, Varma said he had come to do some research on the story and will be meeting the families of Vangaveeti and Devineni. He said he would be staying in the city for three days. Asked about the huge turnout of his fans, he said it was the craze for the film.
His critics, however, said the real purpose of Varma’s visit was free publicity for his forthcoming flick.