#WeStandWithSuriya: Twitterati bleed for actor in Jai Bhim row

The Vanniyar Sangam has issued a legal notice to actor Suriya seeking Rs 5 crore in damages and an unconditional apology.

Jai Bhim revolves around a righteous lawyer taking on the system.

The Vanniyar Sangam state president on Monday issued a legal notice to actor Suriya and TJ Gnanavel, director of the film Jai Bhim, seeking an unconditional apology, removal of scenes from the film which they see as defamatory, and damages of Rs 5 crore.

Many social media users on Monday lent their support to Suriya in the wake of the news.

According to media reports, the notice asks those behind the film to “cease and desist from making or publishing any false, malicious and defamatory remarks against (the Vanniyar) community and its people”. It alleges that in one scene of the movie, which is based on real life events, the character of a policeman has been deliberately depicted as belonging to the Vanniyar community – classified as a most backward caste that is politically dominant in northern Tamil Nadu.

Vanniyar Sangam’s notice came after Pattali Makkal Katchi leader and former Union health minister Dr A Ramadoss lashed out at the actor, accusing him of hurting his community’s sentiments. Suriya last week issued a statement saying that neither he, nor his film unit had any intention of insulting any individual or community as alleged by Ramadoss.

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“The core concept of Jai Bhim is how, in a case argued by the retired Justice Chandru, a legal struggle was waged against the authorities to help establish justice. We have also attempted to talk about the problems that indigenous people face in their everyday lives,” the actor’s statement read.

Others named in the legal notice are actor Jyotika, who is also Suriya’s wife, 2D Entertainment Private (Suriya and Jyotika’s production house) and a representative of Amazon.in.

Set in 1995, Jai Bhim revolves around the arrest of three Irular (Scheduled Tribe) men in a theft case, and how a righteous lawyer takes on the system.

Also read: ‘Jai Bhim’ and the cinema of emotional blackmail

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