The Vanniyar Sangam on Monday issued a legal notice to actor Suriya, director TJ Gnanvel and Amazon India, seeking an unconditional apology and removal of scenes from the movie ‘Jai Bhim’ that it dubbed as “defamatory” to the Vanniyar community and Rs 5 crore compensation within seven days.
On behalf of Arul Mozhi, the president of Vanniyar Sangam, K Balu, the spokesperson and lawyer of Pattali Makkal Katchi, issued a notice where he claimed that there are scenes which show the Vanniyar community in poor light in the recent Amazon Prime video release ‘Jai Bhim’, which Suriya starred and co-produced.
Jai Bhim is a film that talks about members of the Irular tribe who were subjected to custodial torture and how Justice Chandru, played by Suriya, fought and won a legal battle for them.
The notice said the crew had managed to retain most of the characters’ names with real names such as Rajakannu, advocate Chandru, police officer Permalsamy but deliberately changed the name of the sub-inspector (SI) who tortured the victim in custody.
The advocate said in one of the sequences of the movie, the ‘Agni Gundam’ (raging fire), the symbol of Vanniyar Sangam, was shown in the calendar behind the SI to defame the Vanniyar community.
Further, it said that the SI, the main culprit in the case in the movie, is named ‘Gurumurthy’ and was called ‘Guru’, reminding people of late PMK leader J Guru.
“You have projected the said wicked person, a wrongdoer, as if he belonged to Vanniyar community thereby imputing that the members of the Vanniyar community are prone to commit wrong and illegal things while in real life the said sub-inspector does not belong to Vanniyar community,” the notice read.
Further, the notice urged the correspondents to desist from making or publishing anymore ‘false, malicious and defamatory remarks against the Vanniyar community and its people.
A few days ago, former Union minister and PMK leader Anbumani Ramadoss had written a letter to actor Suriya asking questions about the movie.
In his reply letter, Suriya said the core theme of the movie was how Justice K Chandru, when he was a lawyer, fought a legal battle for marginalised communities against those in power and how justice was delivered. “Through the film, questions have been raised against those in power, it should not be turned into name-politics and diluted,” Suriya said in a letter written in Tamil.