A Chennai court has directed the police to file an FIR against superstar Suriya, his wife Jyothika, and director Gnanavel for allegedly misrepresenting the Vanniyar community in their film ‘Jai Bhim’. A Vanniyar group, Rudra Vanniyar Sena, had claimed in its petition that the community has been shown in a poor light in the movie.
The petition came up for hearing at the Chennai Saidapet court on April 29. According to reports, after hearing the arguments of the petitioner, the court issued orders to the police department to file an FIR against Suriya, Jyothika and Gnanavel and investigate it. The next hearing has been adjourned to May 20.
Earlier, Suriya was also served legal notice demanding pound 500,000 compensation by the political outfit Pattali Makkal Katchi for allegedly tarnishing the image of the Vanniyar community.
The main source of conflict stems from a scene in which a calendar with the ‘Agni Gundam’ (raging fire) symbol is shown. The symbol is said to represent the Vanniyar community and the political organisations associated with the community are not happy, as they allege that the scene in question suggests that the main villain, a corrupt cop, belongs to their community.
“You have projected the said wicked person, a wrongdoer as if he belonged to the Vanniyar community thereby imputing that the members of the Vanniyar community are prone to commit wrong and illegal things while in real life the said sub-inspector does not belong to Vanniyar community,” read the part of the legal notice.
After the controversy broke out over the Agni Gundam calendar in the movie, director Gnanavel issued an apology, owning up to the responsibility for the oversight. “It is unfortunate to ask Suriya to own up to the responsibility. As the director, this is a matter I alone have to take responsibility for,” he had said in his apology.
‘Jai Bhim’ was released on Amazon Prime Video last November to massive critical acclaim. It has been making headlines since.