Amid growing outrage against actor Vijay Sethupathi for acting in Sri Lankan cricketer Muthiah Muralidharan's biopic '800', veteran Tamil director Bharathiraja has penned a scathing letter to the actor in which he had urged him to drop the biopic and the director has called the former cricketer as the betrayer to his own community.
The statement from the ace director has come when the Tamil fans and people are demanding and castigating Vijay Sethupathi to drop the movie of reprising Muralidharan, who post his retirement from the cricket, turned to be the ardent supporter of the clan of Rajapaksas, who executed genocide against the Tamil people living in the island nation during the final stages of the civil war in 2009.
Ever since the confirmation that Vijay Sethupathi will be acting as Muralidharan in the latter's biopic was made public, the actor has been drawing major flak from the fans and fraternities. On Thursday, director Bharathiraja had echoed the demand of the masses and penned a scathing letter asking the actor to refrain from acting in the biopic amid commending his commitment to the cinema industry.
In his letter that he posted on Twitter, Bharathiraja said, "It's very difficult to earn the name and reputation from people, but they, swiftly, have poured lots of love and respect on you (Vijay Sethupathi) and the reason for that is your natural acting and reality delivery of speeches and reflecting the thoughts of people". "I learned about your acting in '800' biopic and I came to know that the biopic is about the Sri Lankan Cricketer Muthiah Muralidharan".
The director stated, "Muthiah has completely supported Sinhala extremism when our Tamil people were killed. Though he had created the world-record as a cricketer, what's the use of the record when he relished during people of his own community got killed". The directed said, "Our Tamil race had come past many betrayers and for us, Muthiah Muralidharan is also one of the betrayers".
Bharathiraja penned, "While recalling the pain, the affected people had asked me why Vijay Sethupathi is acting in that biopic, he could have refused that. At the same time when I understood their pain and anxiety, I can also see how much love they had for you. I'm demanding on behalf of the Eelam Tamils living worldwide, whether our people have to see the face of the betrayer through you? Kindly look for refraining from acting in the biopic in whichever way possible".
The director said, "If you refrain from acting, you will be fondly remembered in my heart and the hearts of the Tamil Eelam people". Bharathiraja's voice had gripped up the demand for the actor to drop the biopic and besides demanding the actor, Bharathiraja had castigated the production house of the biopic 'Dar Motion Pictures' in responding to their statement. The maker has said that the biopic is purely the sports biography and stated that the film will engage the Tamil community in Sri Lanka and will be providing the artists and technicians with a platform to showcase their talents on a global stage.
Reacting to the statement, Bharathiraja said, "You (Dar Motion Pictures) can consider Muthiah Muralidharan as the best cricketer but for us, he is the betrayer and Tamil race will never forgive betrayers and if you really wish to showcase the talents of the technicians on a global stage, you should come forward to make the biopic of the lives of Dileepan, who died seeking justice for the Tamil people, and the lives of thousands of people and fighters who died and sacrificed their lives to the Tamil people".
Along with Bharathiraja, Chief of Naam Tamilar Katchi Seeman, and director Cheran had also demanded Vijay Sethupathi to drop the movie as the latter has been surfaced with the trouble and tension since he announced that he would be acting in the biopic. On Tuesday, the production house has released the first motion poster of the movie which fueled the outrage as the hashtags #ShameOnVijaySethupathi and #BoycottVijaySethupathi have been trending across Twitter. The biopic film has been titled as '800' to mark the number of wickets taken by Muralidharan in the test cricket. Directed by MS Sripathy, the biopic will be covering the struggles faced by the spinner and how he rose to popularity and become one of the legendary cricketers in history.