Head Bush star Dhananjaya denies allegations of insulting Veeragase

Actor Dhananjaya’s latest film, Head Bush, has sparked controversy after some people insulted a fight scene involving characters in Veeragase costumes. The film has been accused of showing people who practice the folk art in a bad light – allegations the filmmakers have refuted.

Dhananjaya came under fire after some people took offense at a fight scene in which the film’s protagonist is beating up rivals who are trying to kill him. The problem, however, is that the bad guys who take the hits come dressed in Veeragase costumes, which are a staple in Karaga Utsava and celebrated annually in Bengaluru. According to media reports, the Karaga Utsava Samithi has planned to approach the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce demanding changes to the scene, which they see as an insult to their feelings.

The controversy has also generated widespread support for Dhananjaya and the Head Bush makers. #WeStandWithDhananjaya trended against the #BoycottHeadBush hashtag campaign. Many of the film’s supporters have claimed that Dhananjaya is being systematically targeted for his outspoken liberal views. The controversy is being touted as a ruse to silence dissenting voices in Kannada cinema.

Actor and filmmaker Prakash Raj also expressed his solidarity with Dhananjaya amid the controversy.

“If you watch the fight sequence, there will be some people in Veeragase makeup ready to attack Jayaraj. When the fake Veeragase guys attack, the real Veeragase artists step back. Another thing while performing Veeragas is not to wear shoes. When Jayaraj is attacked, he notices that those who attacked him are wearing shoes, and then he realizes that these are not real artists. And Jayaraj only fights these guys. Technically, Jayaraj beats those who insult Veeragase. We clearly showed that difference in the film,” Dhananjaya explained in an interview with TV9 Kannada.

Dhananjaya became a household name after his breakthrough performance in 2018 gangster drama Tagaru. He played the main antagonist, nicknamed Daali, which later also became the actor’s calling card in the industry. He later graduated from supporting cast to lead roles in films such as Popcorn Monkey Tiger and Badava Rascal. He will also be starring in Tollywood superstar Allu Arjun’s upcoming film Pushpa 2.

His latest film, Head Bush, is inspired by real events that took place in Bengaluru in the 1970s. The film is based on the memoir My Days in the Underworld by Agni Sreedhar, a former gangster.

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