THANJAVUR: Based on a complaint by Hindu Makkal Katchi leader, director Pa Ranjith was booked over his remark that the rule of Chola emperor Raja Raja I (985-1014) represented a dark period in history.
According to sources, the director known for movies such as Madras, Kabali and Kaala, made the remarks at a public meeting in Tiruppanandal near Kumbakonam on June 5 to commemorate the death anniversary of Umar Farooq, who founded the Neela Puligal Iyakkam working for Dalits.
Ranjith is also the founder of Nilam Panpattu Maiyam. Ranjith, who spoke about the struggles for land by Dalits and Farooq’s role, also spoke about the Chola emperor’s period.
“During his reign, land was taken away from Dalits by intrigue,” he is seen saying in a video that was circulated online.
Ranjith also said that the large-scale oppression of Dalits had started during the period and that the Devadasi system—the practice of dedicating girls and women to temples – was prevalent during his reign.
On Monday HMK leader Ka Bala lodged a complaint with the Thanjavur SP alleging that the director’s speech was aimed at creating divisions among castes and against the sovereignty of the country.
Tiruppanandal police booked him under sections 153 (wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot) and 153 (A) (1) (a) (promoting enmity between different groups) of IPC.