'Jai Bhim' row: Vanniyar Sangam sends legal notice to Suriya
A Tamil Nadu cultural group, Vanniyar Sangam, has issued a legal notice against the makers of Jai Bhim—actor Suriya, his wife and actor-producer Jyotika, director Tha Se Gnanavel, and the streamer Amazon Prime Video. The notice is regarding the alleged insult to the Vanniyar community through the film's narrative. They are now demanding Rs. 5 crore in damages and a public apology. Here's more.
Why does it matter?
- The issue began days ago when Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) leader Anbumani Ramadoss addressed a letter to Suriya, demanding answers for an "insulting" portrayal.
- Then, the actor wrote back a statement but the issue didn't get resolved.
- On Sunday, some PMK workers reportedly barged into a Tamil Nadu theater to stop the movie's screening.
- To note, Vanniyar Sangam is the parent body of PMK.
What irked the Vanniyar Sangam in the first place?
The notice held the actual names of characters were retained in Jai Bhim as it's based on a real story. But the name of the Sub-Inspector who tortured some members of an underprivileged community and was lambasted for his conduct was changed. Although the SI, in reality, was Christian, he has been "deliberately" named Gurumoorthy in the film, added the notice.
The community was upset with their symbol being used too
The notice further alleged that the makers "deliberately" created a 1995 calendar with the Agni Kundam, the symbol of the Vanniyar community, in one scene with the "mala fide intention of defaming members of the Vanniyar Sangam." Reportedly, the symbol has been removed now.
South Indian Film Chamber of Commerce stood with Suriya
As the legal notice was served, the South Indian Film Chamber of Commerce also penned a letter to Ramadoss, taking a stand for the Navarasa actor, who is its member. President of the body, Katragadda Prasad, said the makers had immediately removed the symbol as requested, adding Suriya, who doesn't have any political or religious affiliations, shouldn't be criticized in the matter any longer.
Earlier, certain netizens were miffed with a scene in film
This isn't the only issue surrounding the venture. Previously, some social media users took offense to a scene in the period piece. Prakash Raj, playing a police officer, was seen slapping a man who speaks Hindi, asking him to speak in Tamil instead. Slogans of anti-Hindi mentality were raised online but Raj squashed such claims, saying, "They saw only the slap...this exposes their agenda."