A recall of Nandamuri Balakrishna’s ‘insignificantly unacceptable’ behaviour in public places

In the wake of Balakrishna's disrespectful behaviour towards actor Anjali at a recent film event, the former is facing severe backlash from netizens.

BySouth First Desk

Published Jun 01, 2024 | 1:22 PMUpdatedJun 01, 2024 | 1:27 PM

Balakrishna and his insignificantly unacceptable behaviour

The latest video of Telugu star hero and Telugu Desam Party MLA Nandamuri Balakrishna pushing actor Anjali during the pre-release event of Gangs of Godavari has sparked outrage on social media.

In the viral footage, Balakrishna is seen shoving Anjali after she hesitated for a few seconds to make space for him on stage, leaving many people angry.

The incident angered netizens due to Balakrishna’s disrespectful behaviour towards the female actor.

However, this is not the first time the actor-politician has faced public backlash for his conduct. There have been multiple occasions where he has been criticised for slapping fans, mistreating colleagues, and making vulgar comments about women.

However, according to Anjali’s co-star Vishwak Sen and producer Naga Vamsi, the shove was deemed insignificant.

They convened a press conference to discuss the film and addressed the controversy, offering justifications for Balakrishna’s actions.

Actor Vishwak Sen adopted a sarcastic tone when addressing the press, dismissing the incident as manufactured drama over something trivial.

He defended Balakrishna as a “good man” and asserted that the public wasn’t considering the events leading up to and following the shove.

Producer Vamsi also joined in to provide further justification for Balakrishna’s behaviour.

“Imagine there are three people, and if I ask you to move and you don’t, so I casually push you. That’s all happened. This is being blown out of proportion because some individuals have deliberately planned to create controversy.”

A bunch of social media users also circulated videos on X (formerly Twitter), alleging that Balakrishna had two bottles beside him at the event, with one of them purportedly containing liquor.

Addressing this, Vamsi said, “There are claims that Balakrishna had a bottle of liquor near him, but someone fabricated that clip using CGI. I can confirm there were no bottles near him because I supervised the event.”

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Netizens react sharply

The situation escalated further when filmmaker Hansal Mehta labelled him a “scumbag” for his actions.

Singer Chinmayi addressed those who criticised Anjali for laughing after being shoved.

Nevertheless, actor Anjali has addressed the controversy stating that she has shared a strong friendship with the Telugu superstar for a considerable period.

Balakrishna’s vulgar remarks at Savitri audio launch

Let’s reflect on instances where Nandamuri Balakrishna exhibited troubling behaviour and faced no consequences.

Balakrishna is the son of the legendary actor and former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, NT Rama Rao.

A police complaint was filed against him in 2016 for making vulgar remarks about women during the audio release event for the film Savitri.

He said on stage, “If I play eve-teasing roles and just follow girls, my fans will not accept it. Either a kiss should be given, or they should be made pregnant. That’s all. We have to fully commit to it.”

Following the uproar over his comment, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) released a statement saying, “Balakrishna regrets his remarks and apologises if he offended anyone. He made those comments in a lighthearted manner during the movie event and did not intend to target anyone. He also mentioned that he inherited a culture of respecting women from his father, NT Rama Rao.”

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Slapping fans is a routine

Multiple videos of Balakrishna slapping his fans have circulated on the internet, over the years.

During an election campaign in Nandyal, Andhra Pradesh, he slapped a fan attempting to take a selfie with him.

In another incident in 2017, while campaigning for TDP candidate Bhuma Brahmananda Reddy, a supporter accidentally fell on the actor while trying to place a garland of flowers on him. Balakrishna reacted angrily, slapping the fan and pushing him away.

In 2021, he slapped a fan in Hindupur for pointing his phone camera at him. However, the fan downplayed the incident by stating that he didn’t take offence.

The infamous shooting incident

In 2004, Balakrishna was implicated in an incident where he discharged shots from a revolver registered under his wife Vasundhara Devi’s name, targeting filmmaker Bellamkonda Suresh and his associate Satyanarayana Chowdhary.

After the shooting incident, he asserted that he lost consciousness and was quickly transported to a private hospital in the city.

Upon being apprehended, he justified his actions as self-defence, alleging that Bellamkonda and Satyanarayana had assaulted him with a paper cutter.

The day after Bellamkonda publicly stated that Balakrishna had aimed to kill him by firing at him, he experienced a sudden bout of amnesia, claiming he couldn’t remember who had shot at him.

However, he did recollect that he had not assaulted “Balayya Babu” with a paperknife.

Bellamkonda Suresh also admitted to a preceding altercation that led to injuries to both himself and Satyanarayana. Eventually, the case was dismissed due to lack of substantial evidence.

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Caught abusing his assistant

While filming his movie in 2017, Balakrishna was observed mistreating and verbally abusing his assistant. He was captured on camera striking his assistant on the head and instructing him to tie his shoelaces.

Despite facing criticism for Baakrishna’s behaviour towards his colleague, and calling for a ban on him, no punitive action was taken against him.

Radhika Apte’s negative encounters

Radhika Apte, who collaborated with Nandamuri Balakrishna in Legend (2014) and Lion (2015), once spoke about her negative encounters while working in the Telugu film industry.

She recounted an incident where a prominent Telugu actor touched her inappropriately without her consent.

During an interview on Neha Dhupia’s show, No Filter Neha, Radhika Apte remarked, “I worked in South Indian films, and they compensate you well, which you deserve. I won’t generalise, but in the projects I was part of, there wasn’t gender equality. These men wield immense power, and you’re summoned with short notice, kept waiting, and treated disparately.”

Radhika Apte further shared, “On my first day of shooting for that Telugu film, I pretended to be ill for my character. Suddenly, the actor, whom I didn’t even know, walked in and started tickling my feet.”

She added, “He’s a prominent actor. I got up and snapped at him in front of everybody; I said don’t ever do that to me. He was taken aback by my response, but he refrained from touching me thereafter. Such incidents never occurred on the sets of Rajinikanth’s film. It was specifically during the two Telugu films I worked on.”

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