Notice to 'Jai Bhim' team demands apology, Rs 5 crore in damages for 'wrongful' depiction of community

According to the legal notice, the movie is claimed to have been based on a real-life incident and its storyline draws upon a decision of the Madras High Court.

Published: 15th November 2021 06:07 PM  |   Last Updated: 15th November 2021 06:08 PM   |  A+A-

A poster of Jai Bhim featuring Suriya

A poster of Jai Bhim featuring Suriya

By IANS

CHENNAI: Angered at the "wrongful" depiction of the Vanniyar community in the Tamil film 'Jai Bhim', starring Suriya, the Vanniyar Sangam president, Pu. Tha. Arulmozhi, has sent a legal notice to the producers, director and Amazon, which operates the OTT platform Prime Video, where the film is being streamed.

The notice, which claims Rs 5 crore in damages and a public apology, was issued to 2D Entertainment, Suriya Sivakumar and his wife Jyothika, because their company A.K. International has co-produced the film, the director-screenwriter T.J. Gnanavel and Amazon.

According to the legal notice, the movie is claimed to have been based on a real-life incident and its storyline draws upon a decision of the Madras High Court.

It retains the names of the people who were involved in the incidents shown in the film, so we have a Rajakannu, Advocate Chandru and the police officer Perumalsamy. The name of the sub-inspector of police involved in the custodial death of an undertrial, however, according to the legal notice, was "deliberately" changed from Anthonysamy to Gurumurthy, and he'srepeatedly referred to as 'Guru'.

In one of the scenes in the movie, the notice points out, the 'Agni Kundam' (fire burning from a holy vessel) symbol of the Vanniyar Sangam is shown in the calendar behind the sub-inspector of police, who commits the atrocity.

The notice says that the makers of 'Jai Bhim' had "deliberately" got a calendar made for the year 1995 with the 'Agni Kundam'. He said it had been done with the "mala fide intention of defaming members of the Vanniyar Sangam and damaging the image and reputation of the entire Vanniyar community."

According to the Vanniyar Sangam, changing the name of the villain to Gurumurthy, which resembles that of one of its frontline leaders, and projecting him to be from the community by showing its 'Agni Kundam' symbol, implied that the members of the community are prone to committing wrongs and taking illegal actions.

"My client states that by various symbolic representations in your movie, you have wantonly, wilfully and intentionally portrayed the character of the sub-Inspector of police, who is guilty of committing a custodial death in the film and also in the real-life story, belongs to Vanniyar community, whereas the said sub-Inspector does not belong to Vanniyar community," the notice states.

"It cannot be considered as a casual, innocent, inadvertent mistake and natural sequence in the movie," the legal notice reads. It adds that the scene was included only "with a view to maligning the image of the Vanniyar community people in the society and with a view to defaming the entire community as a whole."

Apart from demanding Rs 5 crore in damages, the Vanniyar Sangam has also sought the removal of the "defamatory scenes", references to the Vanniyar community and its symbol, the 'Agni Kundam', from the movie. And it has sought an unconditional apology from the film's producers and writer for tarnishing the reputation of Vanniyars.

Earlier, PMK leader and Rajya Sabha MP Anbumani Ramadoss had written to Suriya citing the objectionable portions in the movie, alleging that they deliberately targeted the Vanniyars.

Responding to the charge, Suriya had pointed out that the 'Jai Bhim' unit had put out a disclaimer right at the start of the movie, saying that this was a story that had only been inspired by a real incident and that the characters, names and events were entirely fictional.



Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp