Tensions have been escalating around Suriya starred Jai Bhim as the Vanniyar Sangam and PMK have been agitating against the movie by alleging that Jai Bhim has defamed the Vanniyar community. Earlier this month, the caste body has sent a legal notice to Suriya and the movie team demanding them to pay Rs 5 crore in seven days as compensation for insulting the community. The outfit has now unfolded its next move as it has moved to the court with a complaint.
According to reports, Vanniyar Sangam President Arulmozhi has filed a complaint before the second Judicial Magistrate in Chidambaram in Tamil Nadu in which he sought action against Suriya and Jai Bhim director TJ Gnanavel for damaging the reputation of the Vanniyar community. The development has come days after Suriya and Gnanavel had issued statements in which they affirmed that the movie neither defamed the Vanniyar community nor intended to. The stir has been escalating when the movie enters the fourth successful week.
Jai Bhim was released on November 2 directly on Amazon Prime Video and has garnered a massive reception from across and beyond the borders and earned positive critics. However, PMK and its affiliates found a talking point that the movie has insulted what they claim as the major community in Tamil Nadu. In his complaint, Arul Mozhi has named production house 2D Entertainment as accused number one, Suriya as accused number two, Jyothika as accused number three, Gnanavel as accused number four, and Amazon as accused number five.
Arulmozhi has sought action against Suriya, the movie team, and Amazon under various sections including defamation, intent to cause a riot and intent to breach the peace, and that the people of the Vanniyar community have been featured in a bad light. The Vanniyar Sangam leader claimed that though a criminal complaint has been filed with the police, no action has been taken yet due to which the outfit has moved to the court in Chidambaram.
In his complaint, he said that in one of the scenes in Jai Bhim, the symbol of Vanniyar Sangam (firepot) has been depicted in the calendar in the residence of the police officer who stood accused of custodial torture. Arul Mozhi said that the police officer, who was shown as he belonged to the Vanniyar community, has been projected as a wrongdoer and that the people who belong to the community are prone to commit injustices. The movie was inspired by true events and in the real story, the inspector doesn't belong to the Vanniyar community.
Arul Mozhi has demanded that a case should be filed against Suriya, Jyothika, TJ Gnanavel, 2D Entertainment, and Amazon under sections 153 - intent to cause a riot, 153A(1) - promoting hatred and enmity, 499- defamation, 500- punishment for defamation, 503 - criminal intimidation, 504- intent to provoke breach of the peace, and 505- public mischief of the Indian Penal Code. Earlier, Gnanavel has denied the allegations and affirmed that the movie did not intend to target or hurt a particular person or community.
In his statement, Gnanavel said, "I should take responsibility as a director. It is unfair to ask Suriya to take responsibility for this controversy. As a producer and actor, Suriya had featured the role to throw more light on the problems faced by the tribal community. I would like to apologise to him for all he has faced."