Chennai-based social activist has sent a legal notice to YouTube India on Thursday, demanding the platform to remove the recently released song Pathala Pathala, from the upcoming Kamal Haasan-starrer Vikram.
He went on to claim that the song has been the cause of “serious controversial and public issues” in Tamil Nadu.
The film, which also features actors Vijay Sethupathi, Fahadh Faasil, and Suriya in a cameo appearance, is slated for a theatrical release on June 3. With the music composed by Anirudh Ravichander, the makers kick-started promotions and recently released a song Pathala Pathala from the film. Written and sung by Haasan himself, the song has garnered 25 million views on YouTube.
However, on Thursday, as per the legal notice accessed by Silverscreen India, activist RTI Selvam, a resident of Korukkupet, referred to some of the lyrics from the song and claimed that it mocked the Union government of India.
He cited the lines;
“gajjanale kasille; kallalaiyum kasille; kaichal joram neraiya warudhu.
thillalangadi thillale; ondriyathin thapaalae; onniyum illa ippaale; saavi ipo thirudan kaila;
(“There is no money left in the treasury, when diseases are on the rise. Because of the mistakes made by the Union government, there is nothing left now. The key now lies with the thief.”)
He further looks at the lyrics;
“kulla naari mamu; kedupadh ivan game;
kulam irundhum valaithalathila; jaadhi pesum memeu.
oosi podu mame; veengikichu bum.”
(“He is a fox and it is his game to destroy, he shares memes that talk about caste on the Internet. Take the vaccinations friend, it has swollen the buttocks.”)
Referring to these lines, the activist claimed in the notice that the lyrics target the “Central government of India” calling them a “thief” and goes on to “mock” the government’s vaccination program, which is “protecting” people from the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Alleging that the song is also inciting “caste unrest” the notice stated, “The song is causing serious controversial, public issues in Tamil Nadu. Hence you should immediately remove the aforementioned song from the YouTube channel as well as other platforms, which are managed by Google.”
The notice also stated that the lyrics can be rendered as “defamatory”, as it goes “against the principles of the Constitution of India, violating fundamental rights.”
Further, a police complaint has also been made by Selvam in the same matter, with a legal notice being served to Haasan and the rest of Vikram’s crew. Demanding that the song be removed within two days, Selvam threatened to take legal action under Sections 106 (Right of private defence against deadly assault when there is a risk of harm to innocent person), 211 (False charge of offence made with intent to injure), 153A (Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony), 499 (Defamation), 505 (Statements conducing to public mischief), 506 (Punishment for criminal intimidation). He also mentioned that YouTube India will be liable for all the “costs and consequences.”
The makers of the song have not commented on the issue, as of yet. Vikram is directed by Lokesh Kanagaraj and is produced by Haasan’s home banner Raaj Kamal Films International, in association with R Mahendran. Aside from the leads, the film will also see Narain, Gayathrie, Kalidas Jayaram, Shivani Narayanan, and Arjun Das, among others, in pivotal roles.