'I don't know who is AR Rahman': How Telugu actor Balakrishna has stirred controversy?

Popular Telugu actor Nandamuri Balakrishna has invited big controversy over his remarks that he doesn't know who is AR Rahman. His comments had prompted trolls on social media with the users sarcastically posting the comments that they don't know who Balakrishna is. 61-year-old Balakrishna is one of the veteran actors in the Indian cinema industry who is active for over four decades. 

Popularly known as 'Balayya', Balakrishna is the son of reputed actor NT Rama Rao, who was the former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh. While Balayya's acting has been serving as a treat for trollers, his latest remarks had put him under controversy. In an interview with Telugu news channel TV9, Balakrishna said that he doesn't know who is AR Rahman and he won't care about his achievements. He said, "I don't know who is AR Rahman and I don't care. Once in a decade, he gives a hit and gets an Oscar Award." 

Balakrishna was speaking about his movie Aditya 369 that was released in 1991. The music for the movie was composed by Ilaiyaraaja and addressing the interview, Balakrishna had appreciated the music and exclaimed that the songs from Aditya 369 were different from Ilayaraaja's usual style. In his address, the actor had made a comparison between Ilaiyaraaja and AR Rahman during which he said he doesn't know AR Rahman. Balakrishna went on to degrade India's highest civilian honour Bharat Ratna. 

In the same interview, Balakrishna said that he doesn't care for awards like Bharat Ratna and these awards are not worthy of his father late NT Rama Rao's achievements. Speaking about his father, Balakrishna said that these awards are insignificant. He stated, "That's why I said that the Bharat Ratna is equivalent to NT Rama Rao's toenail. The people giving him (NT Rama Rao) the award should feel honoured and the honour is not for him. He is so much more than the award." 

It must be noted that AR Rahman was one of the music composers for the 1993 Telugu film 'Nippu Ravva', which was starred by Balakrishna. His remarks that he doesn't know who is AR Rahman has triggered a Twitter tussle between the fans of both stars. While Balakrishna fans had trended hashtag #LegendaryNandamuriBalakrishna, the fans of Oscar-winning music director AR Rahman have trended hashtag #WhoIsBalakrishna. The fans from both sides of the aisle had posted the achievements of Balakrishna and AR Rahman.