South Indian films actor Prakash Raj has become a new target of troll over his religion and name change. (Creative Commons)

Is Prakash Raj’s real name Prakash Albert Raj? Fact Check

Prakash Raj, one of the open criticizers of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and RSS has been facing immense hate campaigns on social media platforms for the past couple of years. Now, a post is spreading like wildfire on Facebook and Twitter which claims that the actor’s actual name is ‘Prakash Albert Raj’. Some other social media users allege that his real name is ‘Prakash Edward Rai (RAI) and they claim that the actor has changed his name to Prakash Raj to disguise himself as a Hindu.
Recently, Post Card News, a news portal known for allegedly having lenience towards right-wing too claimed that Prakash Raj’s original name is Prakash Edward Rai. In their story, they alleged that Prakash Raj is closely working with Christian missionaries to malign Hindus in the nation.

A postcard News screengrab showing the news story on Prakash Raj

So what is the reality behind Prakash Raj’s name? Is he really Prakash Edward Rai ? Let us check it out.
Records available online show that Prakash Raj was born in Bangalore on March 26, 1965, in a lower-middle-class family. His father’s name was Manjunath Rai, while his mother’s name was Swarnalatha. Prakash Raj was initially named Prakash Rai by his parents.
It was legendary Tamil director K Balachander who gave the surname of ‘Raj’ to Prakash. A report published in the New Indian Express then reveals that Balachander had changed his surname to Raj to disguise his Kannadiga identity owing to Tamil vs Kannadiga row over water Kaveri water sharing.
After acting in some Kannada movies, Prakash made his debut in Tamil through the 1994 movie ‘Duet’ directed by K Balachander. During those times, the tension between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka over the Cauvery water issue was burning like a volcano. As Prakash’s surname ‘Rai’ was easily identifiable as a Kannadiga surname widely popular in Mangalore region, Balachander decided to change it to Raj, and Prakash accepted the suggestion.
“Balachander never looked at my religion or my state. He just wanted someone who can tell his stories. Imagine if he had said, ‘You are a Kannadiga and you cannot act in a Tamil film’, where would I have been? So many moments in our lives are decided by people who do not care where you come from, what religion you come from, what gender you are,” said Prakash Raj in an old interview with the New Indian Express.
Prakash Raj later emerged as a proponent of atheism, and he started his fight to end religious politics. It was after he openly criticised the Narendra Modi government on several issues that the actor started facing harsh hate campaign on social media platforms. Now his critics have claimed that his surname is ‘Albert’, while his actual surname was just ‘Rai’.

IMDB Biography of actor Prakash Raj shows that he was born Prakash Rai. (IMDB screen grab)

Conclusion: To make things clear and precise, Prakash Raj was born Prakash Rai, as shown by global database IMDB and not ‘Prakash Edward Rai’ or ‘Prakash Albert Raj’. Our rating of this claim is ????? Totally False.




About Arun Nag

Arun is with Digiteye India since the beginning as the main source for re-writing stories and for re-checking the facts and images. He writes on general and political issues. He can be reached at or

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