Jack of all, He makes tryst with politics

In November last year, Sudeep was appointed ambassador for the State government’s ‘Punyakoti’ scheme pertaining to cattle adoption.
Actor ‘Kichcha’ Sudeep. (Express Illustrations, sourav roy)
Actor ‘Kichcha’ Sudeep. (Express Illustrations, sourav roy)

“I did understand the text you sent in Hindi. That’s only because we all have respected, loved and learnt Hindi. No offense sir, but I was wondering what the situation would be if my response was typed in Kannada.!! Don’t we too belong to India, Sir?” noted actor Sudeep, much known as ‘Kichcha’ Sudeep had tweeted in response to Bollywood actor Ajay Devgn stating that Hindi was India’s national language.

Exactly a year back in April 2022, Sudeep had taken on Devgn who had tweeted Hindi as India’s national language. Followed by this, people across the country from non-Hindi belt poured their support for Sudeep. Devgn had tweeted in Hindi tagging Sudeep and questioned the actor about dubbing non-Hindi films in Hindi. “Hindi is our and always will be our national language,” Devgn had earlier tweeted. This led to an exchange of words between the two actors on social media platforms. Sudeep had stood for the language, Kannada, and his stand was well-appreciated across non-Hindi states.

sourav roy
sourav roy

Another popular Sandalwood actor, Darshan, and Sudeep, who were once close friends, fell apart a few years ago over personal reasons. Both acknowledged there was no friendship between them. But, in December 2022, footwear flung at Darshan at Hospet by fans of late actor Punith Rajkumar at a promotional event, attracted Sudeep’s open criticism and condemnation of the act.

He tweeted: “:Darshan has significantly contributed to Kannada Cinema. We might not be on talking terms. But this incident made me sad…”. Being in the field for around 27 years, and known as a stylish icon, Sudeep was never associated with political parties although he was approached by many. However, his connection with Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, whom he calls “Mama” (Uncle), made him openly announce his support for the former.

“I have known Bommai Mama since my struggling days in the field. At that time I did not know him as a political person. He just stood by me. I will not forget this, and this is why I am here to support him. Wherever he says, I am going to campaign,” he said openly at a recent press meet in Bengaluru.

“I am a citizen of this country, I pay my taxes, and as a citizen, I like certain stands taken by PM Narendra Modi. I am not here to contest polls,” he added. However, this has not been accepted by many, including his followers, although Sudeep said he would have done the same to anyone who stood by him during his struggling days, irrespective of the political party they belonged to.

Hailing from Shivamogga, Sudeep belongs to Valmiki Nayaka community which falls under the ST category. The BJP-led government in Karnataka has increased ST reservation quota to 7% from three per cent. The government even passed a new reservation policy. The BJP roped in Sudeep, expecting to tap the strong vote base in central Karnataka where Valmiki caste members are more in numbers.

In November last year, Sudeep was appointed ambassador for the State government’s ‘Punyakoti’ scheme pertaining to cattle adoption. An engineering graduate, who was passionate about movies, Sudeep is the son of a successful hotelier and businessman, Sanjeev Manjappa. Sudeep, who is himself a good cook, plunged into Sandalwood in a supporting in Thaayavva in 1997, and in 2000, he was in a lead role in Sparsha. In 2001, his performance in Huchcha, in which he was called “Kiccha”, earned him the nickname Kichcha by his fans. This movie gave him a name and fame overnight.

Since then, Sudeep has acted in several blockbusters in Kannada including Kempegowda, Bacchan, Varadanayaka, Vishnuvardhana and Manikya. He is also a producer and director. Sudeep’s debut in Telugu cinema in 2012 was Eega, directed by noted SS Rajamouli, which gained him wider popularity. He has also acted with Salman Khan in Dabangg 3.

The popular reality show Big Boss in Kannada is also hosted by the actor. He also runs the Kiccha Sudeepa Charitable Society, which works for underprivileged schoolchildren. He is married to Priya Sudeep and has a 19-year-old daughter Sanvi.

An avid cricket fan — and a cricketer himself — Sudeep is a right-hand batsman and a wicketkeeper, who is also the captain of the Karnataka Bulldozers, a cricket franchise of Celebrity Cricket League (CCL), but is currently busy with three movies on his hands and set to get busier campaigning when the political scene heats up before the May 10 assembly polls.

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