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Tuesday, December 07, 2021

Name-politics will dilute Jai Bhim’s message, actor Suriya responds to ‘insult to Vanniyar’ claim by Ramadoss

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, said Suriya.

By: Express Web Desk | Chennai |
November 12, 2021 1:50:10 pm
Actor Suriya, Jai Bhim “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

Tamil actor Suriya on Thursday took to social media to respond to the criticism levelled against him by Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) MP and former Union minister Anbumani Ramadoss over the Vanniyar community’s portrayal in the actor’s much-acclaimed movie ‘Jai Bhim’, released on OTT platform recently.

In his 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.

On Wednesday, Ramadoss wrote a letter posting a series of questions about the movie. He said he had been receiving news that ‘Jai Bhim’, enacted and produced by Suriya, was offending the Vanniyar community.

Oppression cannot be accepted and everyone should fight against it but in the movie, he said, the representation of a brutal officer, has insulted the Vanniyar community. A Vanniyar Sangam calendar (now replaced with another image) was placed behind in a frame and the culprit sub-inspector was named Gurumoorthy, reminding people of late PMK leader J Guru, said Ramadoss.

The PMK leader said when the movie attempted to retain original names for certain characters why the name of the sub-inspector, who had beaten the Irula community youngster to death, was changed to Gurumoorthy and he was called Guru during the court proceedings. This happened despite the film crew knowing that the officer in the real-life story was named Anthonysamy. In recent times, he alleged, it has become a practice to make films insulting the Vanniyar community and that this is not freedom of expression but hatred towards one particular community.

Responding to this, Suriya said: “No one from the film had any intention to insult any caste or community as you had mentioned in your letter. I think you will remember that we have rectified even the small flaw pointed out by a few people. I agree with your statement in your letter that no one has the right to hurt any community in the name of freedom of expression. In the same manner, I believe you will agree that freedom of expression must always be protected from attacks.”

He added that the film was not a documentary and they had put a disclaimer that it was a work of fiction based on a real-life incident and did not refer to any incident or name in particular.

Further, Suriya said he had been doing everything in his capacity to improve the lives of fellow human beings and been receiving support and love from people across the country. “I have no need or intention to seek publicity by insulting any community,” he added.

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