While Suriya's 'Jai Bhim' has thrown more light on the plight of tribal communities in their fight for justice, on the other hand, it has stirred a political controversy with the claim that the movie had put the scenes that were alleged to be against of the Vanniyar community. The leaders who belong to the Vanniyar community, which has a stronghold in northern Tamil Nadu, had outraged against Suriya and the movie for such objectionable scenes.
Recently, in an interview with a Tamil channel, a Tamil director from the Vanniyar background has claimed that the name of the police officer was changed in the movie, despite displaying it to be based on true events. He also alleged that the movie had carried wrongful representations of the Vanniyar community. Days after his interview, Pattali Makkal Katchi's (PMK) youth wing leader Anbumani Ramadoss has on Wednesday asked nine questions to actor Suriya and urged the latter to respond to them.
PMK enjoys a strong voter base from the Vanniyar community and after finding a talking point over the controversy, Anbumani Ramadoss had penned these questions to Suriya and the movie team. In his letter, the PMK leader said that Jai Bhim has caused unrest among the Vanniyar community. Anbumani claimed that several people had told him that the movie has brought disrepute to the community and added that the actor's silence over the matter had forced him to write the letter. Anbumani said, "Regardless of who is involved, when repression is unleashed on people it is not acceptable and we all fight together against it."
Anbumani asked Suriya and the movie team why the name of the police officer in the movie, whose real name as per the true event is Antony Swamy, was named as Gurumurthy, which denotes a Vanniyar leader. He asked whether Jai Bhim is really a film based on a real event and why was Agni Kalasam, the sacred symbol of the Vanniyar community, was used in the calendar in a scene where the accused police officer was speaking over the phone in his house. The other questions from Anbumani are as follows,
- If Jai Bhim is based on a true event, what's the location of the actual event? Mudhunai village near Vriddhachalam in Cuddalore district or Gonamalai village in Villupuram district?
- Are you aware that the real name of the police sub-inspector who had brutally tortured Rajakannu in the prison was Antony Swamy and why you had taken the movie without knowing the basic facts?
- The real names of Rajakannu, advocate Chandru, and IG Perumal Swamy were depicted in the movie and why you have changed the name of Antony Swamy to Guru Murthy and why he is addressed as Guru in the court scenes?
- Rajakannu's wife Parvathy had said in many interviews that her village head had stood by her when her husband was killed. Why the movie had shown Vanniyars as caste supremacists?
- There are two types of creators. One - those who want to exhume the facts and bring justice to the affected people and the other- those who use the same to spark controversy to make the movie for publicity. Which type are you?
- Referring to Ambedkar, Anbumani Ramadoss has asked 'Jai Bhim' means victory for Ambedkar. Ambedkar didn't teach that no society should not be humiliated. However, you and your team are more focused on degrading Vanniyars instead of bringing justice to the affected people. Is this how you have understood the meaning of Jai Bhim?
- You came to know about the murder of Rajakannu only after 28 years. However, PMK founder Dr Ramadoss was the first to join hands with other parties to fight for justice for Rajakannu. Dr Ramadoss has been making progress in the lives of the oppressed regardless of caste and religion for the past 42 years. Don't you know these facts?
In his letter, Anbumani Ramadoss further penned that it has become the fashion of Tamil movies in recent times to degrade the Vanniyar community, which he claimed to be the major community in Tamil Nadu. The PMK leader has called fashion an attitude of hatred. He said, "The fans who give them life are bigger than the creators. If you display your aggression in the movie, they will show their anger in your next movie. I hope you will be honest with your art and your work. If you are sincere and honest, I hope you will answer the questions raised above towards you."