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'Jai Bhim' controversy: Why is #WeStandWithSuriya trending on Twitter

Google Oneindia News

Chennai, Nov 15: The tussle between the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) and actor Suriya Starrer Jai Bhim, allegedly insulting the Vanniyar community escalated on Sunday when a group of PMK cadres stopped the screening of 2007 film, Vel - also starring Suriya at a theatre in Mayiladuthurai.

Representational Image

Reportedly, the group even stormed into the theatre manager's room, following which the management pulled out the film that was being screened.

Speaking to reporters, PMK's Mayiladuthurai district secretary Pannerselvam threatened to stop all Suriya movies and announced a reward of Rs 1 lakh to anybody who assaults the actor when he visits the district.

Meanwhile, the State President of Vanniyar Sangam has issued a legal notice to the makers of 'Jai Bhim' movie and OTT Platform Amazon Prime Video, seeking an unconditional apology and demanding removal of scenes from Jai Bhim that allegedly defame the Vanniyar community.

Removal of references to Vanniyar community's revered symbol of raging fire pot, an apology for "damning, tarnishing and damaging the reputation" of the community, desisting from similar "malicious" moves and payment of Rs 5 crore in damages were the demands made in the legal notice.

In case of non-compliance, the Jai Bhim team including the producers, director and actor Suriya, who performed the lead role would be liable for proceedings under both the civil and criminal laws for causing loss of reputation and bringing mental agony, the notice, which was also sent to the OTT platform Amazon (Prime Video) that released the flick, said.

What is the allegation against Jai Bhim movie?

Jai Bhim, the legal drama that featuring Suriya in the lead role talks about the lack of humanity in the society and a hit among the movie enthusiasts.

The film, though based on a true incident of custodial torture and death of a tribal man in 1995 in Tamil Nadu it had elements of fiction. The crux of the allegations found in the notice is that the Vanniyar community was shown in 'poor light, vilified by naming the wicked police sub inspector as 'Guru' (Gurumurthy) and by showcasing the fire pot symbol of the community and these were both criminal and civil defamation.

The notice said while the real life names of several people were retained in the film, the unrighteous Police Sub-Inspector was named Guru, while the original name of the SI who tortured the innocent man to death was Anthonysamy.

According to the notice, naming a villainous character after a well known Vanniyar community leader Guru, who was also a former MLA, and this aspect, when juxtaposed with the holy fire pot symbol would establish the malicious intent.

Advocate K Balu who sent the notice told PTI that their demand includes removal of reference to the character named as Guru/Gurumurthy. The raging fire that emerges from a pot ('Agni Kundam' in Tamil) symbolises the Rudra Vanniya Maharaja's emergence from holy blaze to destroy evil forces and it is a sacred symbol of the Vanniyars for centuries.

Vanniyars, or Vanniya Kula Kshatriyas, a Most Backward Community in Tamil Nadu are predominant in the northern districts of the state. The Vanniyar Sangam's symbol is also the raging fire pot.

Following the controvesry, Suriya's fans started trending #WeStandWithSuriya on Twitter, in solidarity with the actor.

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