Tamil News

Actor Santhanam on ‘Jai Bhim’ Row: Don’t Put Down One to Glorify Others

Jai Bhim Movie Stills Starring Suriya

Actor-comedian Santhanam, who attended a press meet in Chennai on Tuesday for his upcoming film Sabhaapathy, said it is not right to portray one group of people in a poor light in order to glorify others, when asked for his stance on the ongoing controversy surrounding Jai Bhim.


The Vanniyar community and the political outfit representing them, Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK), have taken exception to the recently-released Suriya-starrer, which they allege deliberately maligns them.

However, while Santhanam’s statement came in response to a question about the row, the actor did not specify the names of any film or personalities, nor did he openly extend his support to the Vanniyar community or PMK.

Produced by Suriya under his 2D Entertainment banner, Jai Bhim features the actor as a lawyer who fights for justice for people from the Irular tribal community. The Tamil film, which deals with topics such as caste inequality and police brutality, is inspired by a real case from the 90s fought by Justice Chandru at the Madras High Court. It released on Amazon Prime Video on November 2, and has been widely appreciated for the themes it tackles.

On the other hand, the film also earned the wrath of the Vanniyar community for allegedly portraying them in a negative light. PMK leader Anbumani Ramadoss released a four-page statement questioning this while the Vanniyar Sangam issued a legal notice to the makers of the film for “criminal and civil defamation,” demanding Rs 5 crore as damages.

Following this, several film personalities and others have come out in support of Suriya, using the hashtag #WestandWithSuriya on social media.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, the makers of Sabhaapathy, which is set to hit theatres on Friday, had organised a press meet as part of the film’s promotions. During the media interaction, a journalist asked Santhanam for his stand on the ongoing tiff between Suriya and the Vanniyar community.

To this, Santhanam, without taking the names of Suriya, PMK, or the Vanniyars, replied, “In any film, it is okay to glorify someone, but not at the cost of hurting others or making them feel inferior. I feel that is not needed because cinema is meant to bring people together.”


Following this, a certain section of social media users began to trend the hashtags #WeStandWithSanthanam and #SuriyaAgainstVanniyars to counter the support for Suriya.

It is to be noted that Santhanam, in September, had expressed his elation upon meeting S Ramadoss, Anbumani’s father and the founder of PMK, at a family wedding. The comedian is considered an ally of the party.