5 minutes agoAuthor: Arunima Shukla
Had Kannada superstar Puneeth Rajkumar been alive, he would have been celebrating his 49th birthday today. Puneet died of a heart attack on 29 October 2021. As news of the death spread, the government imposed Section 144 in the entire Bangalore city and stopped the sale of liquor for two days. Fans started gathering in Bangalore.
Around 30 lakh people gathered where Puneet’s body was kept. There was a long queue of several kilometers for the last darshan. 10 fans died, some committed suicide and some died of heart attack in shock.
Such was the craze of Puneeth Rajkumar in the entire Kannada cinema. He was the son of superstar Rajkumar. Puneeth was also the highest paid actor in Kannada, with 14 films running in theaters for 100 consecutive days. The fan craze for Puneet was not only because of his acting. He was equally generous in real life. For social service, 26 orphanages and 46 free schools for poor children were being run.
Puneet had donated his eyes. After his death, 1 lakh people across Karnataka donated their eyes because they wanted to follow the path of Puneeth. Due to this, the figure of eye donation in Karnataka had suddenly increased manifold.
Today is Puneet Rajkumar’s second birthday after his death. Read some interesting stories related to his life and fans’ craze-
Appeared on the big screen at the age of 6 months, even left school
Puneeth Rajkumar was born on 17 March 1975 to Superstar Dr. Rajkumar and Producer Parvatamma Rajkumar. He was the youngest of five siblings. At the age of just 6 months, he appeared in the film Premada Kanike.
Younger Puneet used to come to the sets of the film with his sister Poornima. Because of this, his mind was always engaged in films. For this reason, he left school at an early age. However, later he completed his studies with the help of a home tutor. He also did Diploma in Computer Science. He worked as a child artist in many films.
Received first National Award at the age of 10
When Puneet Rajkumar was 10 years old, he was awarded the National Award. He received this award for the film ‘Bettada Hoovu’. In this he was seen as a child artist. In addition, the film received the National Award for Best Kannada Film, three Filmfare Awards South and two Karnataka State Film Awards.
This poster is from the film Appu, from which Puneeth made his lead debut in the year 2002. For this reason, the fans fondly called him Appu.
Puneet was also a singer and TV presenter.
Puneet was not only an actor but also a singer and TV presenter. He also designed the costume for the film Aatchhea. Puneet was also aware of Steadicam. Steadicam which is used in films to shoot scenes like stunts and car chases.
He also loved learning about new brands of cameras and high definition lenses for movies. He also produced two TV shows.
Puneet was part of many brand endorsements
Puneeth was the brand ambassador of Fsquare, Malabar Gold, Manappuram. He was also the brand ambassador of ‘Nandini’ for his state Karnataka Milk Federation. Puneet did not charge any fee for this. He was the brand ambassador of the IPL team Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2008 and 2009.
Puneeth’s father was kidnapped by Veerappan
This thing is from 2000. Sandalwood smuggler Veerappan had kidnapped Rajkumar, father of Puneeth Rajkumar. After this incident, a situation of tension had arisen in the entire state. The government had made all-out efforts to get the prince released. After about 108 days, an agreement was reached between Veerappan and the government, after which Rajkumar was safely released from there.
Rajkumar was considered an icon of Kannada cinema. He was the first Kannada actor to be awarded the Dadasaheb Phalke Award. Puneet’s father Rajkumar had also decided to donate his eyes in 1994. He also died in 2006 due to a heart attack.
Sandalwood actors whose 14 films ran for 100 days in theaters
Puneet was such an actor of Sandalwood, whose 14 films did not leave the theater for almost 100 days. He was one of the highest paid actors of Kannada cinema. He used to charge 2-3 crores for a film. At the same time, he used to charge 1 crore for brand endorsement.
The Government of Karnataka posthumously awarded Puneeth Rajkumar the Karnataka Ratna, the state’s highest civilian award, on 1 November 2022.
Puneet and his generosity
In 2019, there was flood in North Karnataka. Puneet Rajkumar came forward to help people in this difficult time. He had donated Rs 5 lakh to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund. When the country was battling the Corona pandemic, he donated Rs 50 lakh to the Karnataka government’s relief fund.
Puneet used to run 46 free schools, 26 orphanages, 16 old age homes and 19 cow shelters. Apart from this, he also used to give financial help to many Kannada speaking schools.
Along with his mother, he used to run an ashram for girls
His mother also cooperated fully in many noble works of Puneet. He along with his mother used to run an ashram named Shaktidham in Mysore. Where he used to bear the expenses of the education of thousands of girls.
It is a charitable organization. Help of rape victims, campaign against human trafficking, work against prostitution have also been done in this institution.
School children made a satellite in the name of Puneet Rajkumar at a cost of 1.90 crores
After the death of Puneet Rajkumar, the children of a government school in Bangalore had adopted a unique way of paying tribute to him. The children had made a satellite in the name of Puneet. This information was given by the Minister of the Government of Karnataka.
According to a report in The Times of India, a KGS3 satellite was developed by children studying in a government school in Bengaluru at a cost of Rs 1.90 crore.
Puneet was the founder and owner of the music label PRK Audio. As of 1 November 2022, this channel had 15.1 lakh users on YouTube.
Died of heart attack at the age of 46
Day 29 October 2021. Puneet Rajkumar was working out in the gym when he felt uneasy. He gave this information to his wife Ashwini. After which the family members admitted him to the nearest hospital Vikram. On hearing the news of Puneet being ill, people gathered in front of the hospital and wished him a speedy recovery. After some time the doctors declared him dead. The news of his death created a sensation all over Karnataka.
There should be no riots, so the sale of liquor was banned for 2 days.
Several cinema halls in Bengaluru remained closed for the day and promotion of films was also banned in the city. After the news of Puneet Rajkumar’s death, many famous pubs across the city were also closed. As a precautionary measure, the sale of liquor was banned in Bengaluru for two nights. Many companies, including IT companies, sent their employees home early.
30 lakh people gathered in the last darshan with sad eyes
The mortal remains of Puneeth Rajkumar were kept at the Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru for 2 days for public viewing. More than 30 lakh people took part in his last darshan. It was reportedly the largest funeral gathering in Indian history. Everyone’s eyes were sad. Most of the people in this crowd were seen crying.
Section 144 was imposed across Bengaluru to control the fans. No vehicle was able to ply on Vitthal Mallya Road due to the crowd gathered outside the stadium. It was quite challenging for the police to control this crowd.
Meanwhile, the biggest news came out that after hearing the news of the death of his superstar, a fan had committed suicide and 2 had died of heart attack. After a few days, this figure of suicide and heart attack had reached 10.
- Rahul Gadivadara, a resident of Athani in Belgami district of Karnataka, used to worship Puneet Rajkumar like a god. He was deeply shocked by the news of his death. He first decorated the late Puneet’s photo with flowers, then hanged himself to death.
- Parshuram Devammanvar, who lives in Shindoli village of the same Belgami district, was a great fan of Puneeth Rajkumar and was very sad to hear the news of the actor’s heart attack on TV and was crying throughout the day. When he got the information that Puneet Rajkumar was no more in this world, he immediately collapsed and died of a heart attack.
- Muniyappa of Marur village in Chamarajanagar district of Karnataka was also deeply saddened by the news of his superstar’s death. As soon as he heard the news of his death, he started crying loudly. His condition had worsened to such an extent that he started having chest pain and died on the spot due to a heart attack.
Elderly woman fan started crying hugging Puneet’s poster
During this, another video went viral on social media. In this video, an elderly fan was crying hugging Punit Rajkumar’s poster after his death. His poster was pasted in a bus, in which he was seen laughing. The woman was cleaning the dust on the poster with her hands.
She was caressing Puneet’s face as if she was really touching him. Seeing Puneet’s picture, she could not hold back her tears. This video was posted by Viral Bhayani on his Instagram handle.
Puneet got the status of Great Son of Karnataka.
Fan had told death suspicious, demanded investigation
This process of fans’ craze did not stop here. A news had also come to the fore that a fan had lodged a complaint at the police station demanding an inquiry into his death. This person named Arun had written in his complaint that Puneet was absolutely fine. When his health deteriorated, he was not immediately taken to the hospital. The police accepted the complaint and conducted an investigation, but no significant evidence was found.
Like Puneet, one lakh fans had registered their names for eye donation.
Puneet Rajkumar had decided to donate his eyes while he was still alive. The eyes were donated to the hospital when he died. In such a situation, the fans also reached Narayana Netralaya Hospital in Bengaluru city to donate their eyes, considering this last act of theirs as commendable. According to the reports, about one lakh fans had registered their names.
When 1500 people went to the hospital for heart checkup
When people came to know that Puneet Rajkumar had suffered a heart attack while working out in the gym, due to which he died, then about 1500 people got an ECG done. Most of these people were gym workouts.
This is the poster of Puneet Rajkumar’s last film James. This film was released on his first birth anniversary. The film did a good collection at the box office. The total collection of the film was around 100 crores.
Puneet gets respect
- National Film Award for Best Child Artist for the film ‘Bettad Huvu’
- Karnataka State Film Award for Best Actor
- Filmfare Best Actor Award for the film ‘Arsu’
- AKKA Best Actor Award for the film ‘Ram’
- Best Actor Award for South Scope film ‘Raj – The Showman’
- The 12 kilometer stretch of Bangalore Outer Ring Road between Nayandahalli Junction on Mysore Road and Vega City Mall on Bannerghatta Road has been named Dr. Puneeth Rajkumar Road.
- A 23 feet tall statue of Puneeth was inaugurated during the inauguration of the Bellary festival in Bellary.