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Karnan: Udhayanidhi Stalin Says Film’s Makers Rectified Historical Error As Promised

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A still from 'Karnan' teaser. Photo credits: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgfUzQ8nzBY

Udhayanidhi Stalin, the DMK youth wing secretary, on Thursday took to Twitter to note that the makers of Karnan have changed the year of riots mentioned in the film as promised.

On Tuesday, the actor-politician wrote that the film should be celebrated for the portrayal of the pain of the oppressed people. He said that the film focuses on the Kodiyankulam caste riots of 1995 in Tamil Nadu, which took place during the AIADMK regime. The film, however, shows the riot taking place in 1997 when the DMK was in power in the state “I have pointed this error to the producer and director and they have assured me to correct it in a couple of days,” Udhayanidhi tweeted.

The film directed by Mari Selvaraj, starring Dhanushreleased on April 9.

Karnan has faced several controversies since the film was announced. The film is rumoured to be loosely based on Kodiyankulam 1995 caste riot. However, Selvaraj had maintained that it was a fictional film.

In an interview with Vikatan, he said, “I can assure you that this is not a film about Kodiyankulam riots or any riots in the southern districts. It is a fictional film. It has some aspects of truth. Film directors are not required to inform people about the truth. There are newspapers and magazines to do that job. We hear and read a lot of stories. And we make a work of fiction by taking inspiration from it. Karnan is also one such film.”

Karnan is set in the 90s against the backdrop of the Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu. The film also stars Malayalam actor Rajisha Vijayan, who made her Tamil debut with this film, Lal, Lakshmi Priya Chandramouli, Gouri Kishan, Natarajan Subramaniam, and Yogi Babu. It is produced by Kalaippuli S Thanu under V Creations banner. The name of the village in the film is Podiyankulam and the story revolves around Dalit oppression and police atrocities.

According to a report by The Federal, the Kodiyankulam riot broke out due to simmering tensions between scheduled castes Thevars and Pallars. Thevars opposed the state government’s decision of naming a transport corporation after Veeran Sundaralingam, a lower caste leader. The Federal quoted a 1999 study by Human Rights Watch and mentioned that some Thevars were heard saying: “How do you expect us to travel in a bus named after a Dalit? It is a personal affront to our manhood.”

On August 31, 1995, around 600 police personnel barged into Kodiyankulam and reportedly attacked villagers, damaged food grains and electronic goods, poisoned drinking wells with pesticides and fertilisers. Reportedly, they also attacked elderly people and harassed women.

When Silverscreen India contacted Selvaraj, he was unavailable for comment.

Recently, Karnan ran into trouble for its song Pandarathi Puranam. Asking for the song’s removal from the film, a plea was filed at the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court alleging that the song’s lyrics hurt the sentiments of certain communities in Tamil Nadu. Requesting a ban on the film’s release until action was taken, the complainant, Prabhu, sought the song’s censor certificate to be revoked. The court had ordered to send legal notices to the makers of Karnan, YouTube, and the Central Board of Film Certification, following which the makers renamed the song as Manjanathi Puranam.

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