Madras High Court on Thursday quashed the FIR against Suriya, Jyotika and Tha.se Gnanavel. The FIR, which was filed in Velacherry police station, claimed that their 2021 movie Jai Bhim was made with motives to instigate communal violence between communities and create Vanniyar phobia.
Jai Bhim, based on the real story of Sengeni and Rajakannu of the Irular tribe, came under fire for the alleged wrongful portrayal of the Vanniyar community.
Many raised red flags for a scene in the film, where a calender with Agni Kundum (symbol of the community) was seen in the house of a police officer. A section of the Vanniyar community argued that in reality the officer didn’t belong to a community, and claimed that the film was purposely showing them in a bad light. They also criticised the makers for naming the police officer Gurumurthy (the name of a popular Vanniyar community leader).
Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK)’s leader Anbumani Ramadoss also called Jai Bhim a planned attack on the community. Later, the scenes were corrected by the makers, and Suriya released a statement claiming that he never intended to hurt the sentiments of anyone.
Despite such controversies, Jai Bhim, which was released on Amazon Prime Video, became a critics’ favourite. It was the official Indian submission at the 94th Academy Awards. However, the film didn’t make it to the shortlist.
Directed by Tha.Se. Gnanavel, Jai Bhim also starred Lijmol Jose, Manikandan, Rajisha Vijayan and Prakash Raj.