Alleging that the critically acclaimed Tamil film ‘Jai Bhim’ had hurt the sentiments of the Vanniyar community in Tamil Nadu, PMK leader and former Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss on Wednesday posed a series of probing questions to the film’s producer and actor Suriya.
In a letter addressed to Suriya, Ramadoss said, “Thousands of people have been telling me about how the Vanniyar community has been insulted in a planned manner in the Tamil film ‘Jai Bhim’.”
The former Union minister said that he was forced to write this letter as anger was rising and as Suriya had maintained a stoic silence on the issue.
Stating that films, which is a good medium, must be used to propagate art, beauty and along with it good ideas beneficial to society, Ramadoss alleged that ‘Jai Bhim’, however, had used such a medium only to destroy peace and cause societal conflict.
The politician went on to claim that the people of Tamil Nadu had several doubts concerning ‘Jai Bhim’. “As the producer of the film, you have to answer the following questions to clarify their reasonable doubts,” he wrote.
The PMK leader then went on to pose a number of questions including, “Is ‘Jai Bhim’ really based on a real-life incident? If so, did the real-life incident occur at Mudanai village in Cuddalore district or did it occur at Konamalai village?”
Pointing out that while the makers had chosen to give the characters of the Irular youngster who was murdered, the lawyer defending the victim in court and the IG who heads the inquiry in the film, the real names of those who were involved in the actual incident, Ramadoss asked why then had the team, despite knowing fully well that the name of the Sub-Inspector who had beaten Rajakannu to death was Anthonysamy, choose to name that character in the film as ‘Gurumoorthy’.
He also went on to ask why there were courtroom scenes created in the film, where the sub-inspector character was addressed as ‘Guru’.
Ramadoss also went on to ask why in a particular scene in the film in which the brutal sub-inspector is shown talking in a telephone at his home, there was a Vanniyar association calendar in the background bearing the ‘Agni Kalasam’, a holy symbol of the Vanniyar community.
Stating that ‘Jai Bhim’ meant victory to Ambedkar, Ramadoss said that the great leader had not taught anything about insulting any community. “However, your team and you, who have acted and produced a film by the name ‘Jai Bhim’, have paid more attention to insulting Vanniyars than getting justice for those affected. Is this what you have understood as the meaning of ‘Jai Bhim’?” he asked.
The politician concluded the letter saying that he believed that Suriya would be honest to his art and his creations. “If you are truthful, I hope you will answer these questions that have been posed to you,” he said.