Actor Suriya gets police protection: What's the threat?

Amid the Jai Bhim row that was stirred by the fallacious claim from the Vanniyar Sangam and the PMK-backed affiliates, police protection was given to actor Suriya's residence in Chennai on Tuesday to counter the threats issued to the actor. A security detail with the armed police officers was provided after a report from the intelligence suggested that there is a possible threat to the actor. It is the first time that the actor had drawn the police protection as the divide escalates over the Jai Bhim movie with the allegation that it had defamed the Vanniyar community. 

According to reports, the security was provided after a threat from PMK's Mayiladuthurai district secretary Panneerselvam, who had announced a reward of Rs 1 lakh for anyone who would attack the actor when he visits the district. The district secretary had also approached the police seeking action against Suriya and it was part of the furore instigated by the PMK and the Vanniyar Sangam against the actor. On November 14, a group of PMK cadres led by Panneerselvam had stormed into a theatre in Mayiladuthurai and forced the manager to stop screening a Suriya film. 

Earlier, the Vanniyar Sangam had issued a legal notice to Suriya and the Jai Bhim team, demanding an apology from them for hurting the sentiments of the Vanniyar community. Through the legal notice, the caste outfit has also demanded Suriya and the team to provide Rs 5 crore for damaging the reputation of the community. Ever since the notice was issued, it has stirred a wave of support for Suriya as hundreds of thousands of fans, fraternities, and political leaders had expressed solidarity to the actor.  

Political leaders like Thirumavalavan, directors like Bharathiraja, Pa Ranjith, Venkat Prabhu, and Vetri Maaran had thrown more weight behind Suriya with their support while the fans have been trending the hashtag #WeStandWithSuriya. The movie has garnered an immense welcome and reception across and beyond the borders and poured more reputation for Suriya in his career and in his aspiration to bring a change. 

Jai Bhim was released directly on Amazon Prime Video on November 2 and it was dubbed in Hindi, Telugu, Malayalam, and Kannada. It has become a career breaking picture for Suriya and the movie was based on true events. Jai Bhim talks about the custodial torture and caste discrimination faced by the tribal community in 1995. Former Judge of Madras High Court Justice Chandru was an advocate at that time when he had courageously fought against human rights violations and this battle was related to a bleak story where a tribal woman, who belonged to the Irular community, fought in the court against the custodial torture given by the police to her husband, who would eventually die in the police custody. 

The movie revolves around how women from a background community endure an ordeal in fighting against injustice. It also has shown how the ignorance of the backward community is being used by the dominant caste people to conceal their crimes. Suriya has played Chandru in the movie and through Jai Bhim, Suriya had appeared as an advocate for the first time. 

Bankrolled by Suriya and Jyothika under their own banner 2D Entertainment, the movie is directed by TJ Gnanavel and while Suriya plays the lead role, Prakash Raj, Rajisha Vijayan, Lijomol Jose, Rao Ramesh, Guru Somasundaram, and Sibi Thomas had played important roles. Sean Roldan has composed the music. It is apparent that Jai Bhim had shaken the conscience of our society.