Was it my mistake that I born as Sri Lankan Tamil? Muralidharan's open letter on unrest against his biopic!

Amid the brewing trouble and outrage against the biopic '800', which would be covering the life story of Sri Lankan Cricketer Muthiah Muralidharan and which has surfaced the unprecedented tension and demands around Vijay Sethupathi for reprising the cricketer in the movie, the man behind the seed of the biopic, Muthiah Muralidharan had opened up for the first time since it had earned massive flak and unrest from the fans and Tamil people, who are voicing against the movie. 

Muthiah Muralidharan, who has currently been in the IPL season in the United Arab Emirates, has penned his response to the outrage on Friday in which he had shared why he accepted for the biopic and he had given the response to what he claims as the politicization of the movie. In his letter, the legendary spinner said, "I have come past several controversies so far in my life be it in the sport or in my personal life. I want to place my explanation for the controversies and debates that are surfaced around my biopic 800". 

He said, "I was reluctant at the beginning when the production house approached me to make my biopic. Then, I have accepted to make the movie as I thought it would recognize the people who are behind the achievement that I had made as Muthiah Muralidharan including my parents, teacher, coaches, and fellow players as these people have created me". 


He further penned, "Our family had started their lives working as the tea estate workers and we are the first Tamil people to get affected by the three-decades-long civil war and we have hardly got affected, since my memory can recall, by the riots, violence, and bomb blasts against the Tamil people. My father was slaughtered when I was seven and many of my relatives have died and we have stood with no support. So, I too know the pain and losses due to war and this movie is about how I got placed in the Sri Lankan team and achieved amid such situations". 

The retired cricketer said, "According to me, I am seeing everyone equal including Sinhala people and Tamil people and I have helped a lot to the Tamil Eelam people. I don't like to publicize the help I have done, but I have been pushed to tell what I have done to Tamil people today. Tamil Eelam people know my works and how I helped them when I had taken the UN Food programme to school children who lived in the areas controlled by the LTTE in 2002 when I was serving as the ambassador of the UN Food programme".  

He highlighted that "I have helped more to the Tamil Eelam people through my organization 'Foundation of Goodness' for the past ten years after the civil war was over and through my organization, I have been helping to the development of child education, women empowerment, and medical aids and we have been conducting 'Murali Harmony Cup' yearly once for the harmony and goodwill among people and there are many such examples". 

He penned, "There has been a wrong impression on me just because I played in Sri Lankan Cricket and achieved for Sri Lanka. If I would have born in India, I would have tried to get placed in the Indian Cricket team. Was it my mistake that I born as Sri Lankan Tamil? I'm pained that some people are depicting me as I'm against of Tamil people through their ignorance and for political gains. I'm placing this explanation for the centrists and for the people". 

Muthiah Muralidharan's explanation has come at a high time when the Tamil people, fans, and fraternities are urging Vijay Sethupathi to drop acting from the biopic as the retired cricketer has turned out to be an ardent supporter of Sinhala leaders Rajapaksas, who executed genocide and grave human rights violations and killed lakhs of Tamil Eelam people who lived in the Northern Province of the island nation during the final stage of the civil war. 

Vijay Sethupathi has been facing major flak and outrage to avoid the movie and his fans are demanding him not to disrespect the Tamil people by acting in the movie of the biopic who is a supporter of Rajapaksas who killed the Tamil people. On Thursday, director Bharathiraja had asked the actor to avoid the biopic and he called Muralidharan as a traitor, who relished when the people of his own community had got killed. 

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. Despite being centered with the outrage, Vijay Sethupathi is yet to furnish his response on whether he would drop the movie or the demand. 

Must-read: 'He is a betrayer': Bharathiraja's scathing letter to Vijay Sethupathi and urges to avoid '800' biopic!