Scenes of Suriya's 'Jai Bhim' featured on Academy's YouTube channel
After getting a nomination under the Best Non-English Language Film category at the Golden Globes, Suriya-led Jai Bhim has received another accomplishment. Some scenes of the TJ Gnanavel-directorial have found a place on the official YouTube channel of the Academy. The video, lasting 12:47 minutes, has been titled Scene At the Academy. Notably, it's the first Tamil film to get such an honor.
The clip starts with the introduction scene of the film. It then proceeds to director Gnanavel, who explains the theme of Jai Bhim. He shares how police officers pick tribal people up due to their caste and term them as habitual offenders. They are then subjected to custodial torture. But, Jai Bhim "isn't just about custodial violence faced by tribals," he quickly adds.
"Jai Bhim is about how caste discrimination forms the basis of custodial discrimination. If racism is like a spring which swirls up, those in the bottom can eventually fight their way to the top. But casteism is hierarchical. You can't move up," Gnanavel points out.
"It's said that racism is the worst kind of discrimination. But casteism has several layers of discrimination," Gnanavel shares. "When a privileged person is in trouble, their whole community shows up to fight. But for minorities like tribal people? They have no hope or scope," he concludes. In the video, Gnanavel also highlights the research he had to do for the social drama.
Given such a theme, it was not surprising when the Vanniyar community got offended with the film. They had alleged that makers have insulted them by "deliberately" changing the name of one of the antagonists. As a result, a leader of Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK), the political outfit for the Vanniyars, announced Rs. 1L reward for anyone who manages to attack lead star Suriya.
They also sent a legal notice to Jai Bhim's makers while demanding Rs. 5 crore compensation along with a public apology. As a result, Suriya was given police protection in November last year. The Tamil Nadu police also had booked PMK district secretary A Palanisamy under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Some of these are non-bailable sections, another report said.