From Thol Thirumavalavan to Pa Ranjith: #WeStandWithSuriya grows stronger across and beyond TN!

Suriya has been flooded with support and solidarity across and beyond the borders from the fans, fraternities, and politicians after the Vanniyar Sangam has sent a legal notice to the actor alleging that his movie 'Jai Bhim' has defamed the Vanniyar Community and demanded the actor and movie team to pay Rs 5 crore in seven days. The notice was issued on Monday and ever since it made headlines, the notice has stirred a fresh wave of support to the actor and the event has joined the hands of several people in backing Suriya.

The trend on social media had implied that the legal notice from the Vanniyar Sangam had reinstated the support for Suriya as the fans and activists have been trending the hashtag #WeStandWithSurya to express their solidarity to the actor and to voice against the PMK-backed notice. The wave of support had exhibited that besides being for Suriya, the story of Jai Bhim was an important factor behind such solidarity. Suriya has been celebrated by the masses for Jai Bhim, which has become a career breakthrough for him. 

The legal notice has thrown more weight on the accusations made by PMK leader Anbumani Ramadoss against the movie. It is to be noted that PMK has a strong voter base from the Vanniyar community in the northern districts of Tamil Nadu. According to reports, the state president of the Vanniyar Sangam has issued a legal notice to Suriya and TJ Gnanavel in which the president has demanded the makers of the movie to tender an unconditional apology and remove the scenes from the movie that are defamatory against the community. 

The notice was sent by advocate Baalu, a PMK leader, on behalf of Pu Tha Arulmozhi, the president of the Vanniyar Sangam. Besides Suriya and Gnanavel, the notice has also included the names of Suriya's wife Jyothika, who produced the movie under the banner of 2D Entertainment, and a representative of Amazon, as the movie was directly released on Amazon Prime Video on November 2. The notice has urged the makers to cease making or publishing any false, malicious, and defamatory remarks against the Vanniyar community and its people.

The notice has claimed that certain scenes were taken against the community and also said that a scene in the movie where 'Agni Kundam' (a pot with the fire) is seen printed on a calendar. The president of the outfit has said that Agni Kundam is a symbol of Vanniyars and it was seen in the residence of the policeman, who tortures Rajakannu, a tribal man from the Irular community. It further claimed that the movie tends to conceptualize the Vanniyars in an inappropriate manner as it has shown the policeman, who is the sub-inspector, as a Vanniyar. 

The notice further said that this was made to deliberately degrade the Vanniyar Sangam and to spoil the reputation of the entire Vanniyar community. The advocate has said, "Our client says that you (Suriya and the team) have retained the real names of the real characters in the real incident in the movie. But deliberately you have changed the name of the sub-inspector. In the real story, the sub-inspector was called Anthonysamy, who was a Chrisitan by religion." 

In the movie, the name of the sub-inspector goes by Gurumurthy and according to the notice, the name represents Kaaduvetti Guru, a popular leader of PMK. The president of the Vanniyar Sangam has demanded the Jai Bhim team tender an unconditional apology for damaging the reputation of the Vanniyar community. It has urged to place an apology within 24 hours. It has asked Suriya and the team to pay Rs 5 crore within seven days from the time and date of receipt of this notice for causing disrepute for the community. 

Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) Chief Thol. Thirumavalavan has praised Suriya and called the actor 'fighter'. Taking to social media, Thirumavalavan has released the letter that was written to him by Suriya and said, "It gives me double joy that Suriya has sent me a letter on the birth anniversary for Tribal rights fighter Birsa Munda. Patience and tolerance are the shields for the fighters. My wishes to fighter Suriya." Popular director Pa Ranjith took to Twitter and shared a portrait of Suriya with writing "We Stand with Suriya", as he joined the wave of expressing solidarity to the actor. 

Director Venkat Prabhu has said, "Stand for what is right even if it means standing alone. #WeStandWithSuriya #JaiBhim." Independent journalist Kavitha Muralidharan took to Twitter and wrote, "The actor gave one crore for the education of Irular children and in his letter to comrade K Balakrishnan has talked about exploring ways to help the education of Kuravar children." She further wrote in Tamil, "It is from whom they (Vanniyar Sangam) had asked Rs 5 crore compensation". 

Analyst and film industry tracker Manobala Vijayabalan wrote, "#WeStandwithSuriya for his brave efforts and good gesture towards society in these difficult times." It must be noted that recently, Suriya has donated Rs 10 lakh for Parvati, a tribal woman who lost her husband due to custodial torture and whose story was an inspiration for Jai Bhim. Social media platforms have been filled with supportive messages for Suriya and the fans and fraternities have sent a strong oneliner that Suriya is not alone.