A team of armed police personnel has been deployed at the actor’s house for protection, a police official from the T Nagar police station told Silverscreen India.
Jai Bhim has been embroiled in controversy ever since its release on Amazon Prime Video on November 2. In it, Suriya plays a lawyer who fights for justice for people from the Irular tribal community. The 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.
Earlier this week, Vanniyar Sangam representatives issued a legal notice to makers of the film, citing that it showed their community in poor light. The film earned the wrath of the Vanniyar community for featuring a symbol associated with the caste (a fire urn) in a calendar at the house of the antagonist. Though the makers later altered the scene digitally, Anbumani Ramdoss of the political party Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) released a statement questioning why the film had depicted the Vanniyar community in a bad light.
The notice also pointed out that the the antagonist police character in the film is named Gurumoorthy and the name ‘Guru’ resembles that of “one of the frontline leaders” of the Vanniyar Sangam. The real name of the inspector involved in the incident, a Christian, was Anthonysamy as opposed to Guru, the notice further states. The organisation has demanded that the makers tender an “unconditional apology,” remove “defamatory scenes” from the film, and also pay Rs 5 crore as damages.
The legal notice named 2D Entertainment, which produced the film; the banner’s founder Suriya and his wife, actor Jyothika; the film’s director TJ Gnanavel; and the platform it is streaming on, Amazon Prime Video.
This apart, members of Pattali Makkal Katchi (a political outfit for Vanniyars) also stalled a screening of Suriya’s 2007 film Vel at Pearless Theatre in Mayiladuthurai recently after PMK cadre along with the party’s district secretary Sittamalli A Palanisamy forced the theatre management to stop the screening. In addition to cancelling the subsequent shows of the film were also pulled, Palanisamy also announced a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh to anyone who assaults the actor during his visit to the district.
“Given the threats issued, armed personnel has been deployed at the actor’s residence since Wednesday, in order to avoid any unforeseen events,” the official from T Nagar police station added.
Since the controversy over the film broke, many film personalities have expressed support for Suriya including filmmakers Vetri Maaran and Pa Ranjith, actors Siddharth, Sathyaraj and associations such as Tamil Film Active Producers Association and Tamil Nadu Movie Makers Sangam.