Vanniyar Sangam issues notice to Suriya and makers of Jai Bhim for deliberately defaming the community, seeks Rs 5 crores in damages


Suriya's Amazon Prime Video film Jai Bhim is a hard-hitting retelling of a real-life incident. Directed by TJ Gnanavel, the film has received rave reviews from different corners of the nation. However, Jai Bhim has not gone down well with a section of the audience. As per a news portal's report, the Vanniyar Sangam State President has issued a legal notice to Suriya and director  TJ Gnanavel. In the notice, Vanniyar Sangam State President has demanded the removal of defamatory scenes along with an unconditional apology.

Reportedly, the notice has asked the makers of Jai Bhim to “cease and desist from making or publishing any false, malicious and defamatory remarks against (the Vanniyar) community and its people.” As per the report, the notice also sought damages in Rs 5 crore “within a period of seven days from the time and date of receipt of this notice.” In the notice, the complainant noted that though the incidents represented in Jai Bhim are based on real-life events, the character of the policeman, who is shown to torture a character named Rajakannu has been deliberately depicted as a member of the Vanniyar caste. 

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The news portal's report included a quote mentioned in the statement. It read, "Our client states that you have retained the real names of the real characters in the real incident in the movie … But deliberately you have changed the name of the sub-inspector. In the real story, the sub-inspector  who is involved in the custodial death of the under trial was called Anthonysamy, who was Christian by religion."

The notice accused the makers of Jai Bhim of deliberately using a calendar with the 'agni kudam' symbol associated with Vanniyar Sangam in a scene that has been reportedly modified. It has been alleged that this was done with the “malafide intention of defaming the members of the Vanniyar Sangam and damaging the image and reputation of the entire Vanniyar community.”

On November 11, Suriya issued a statement reacting to allegations on Jai Bhim made by PMK leader and former Union Health Minister, Dr Anbumani Ramadoss. In the statement, Suriya wrote, "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."

He further clarified, "Neither my team, nor I have ever harboured any intention at any point in time to insult any individual or community as mentioned by you in your letter. I hope you are aware that corrections were carried out as soon as some people pointed out mistakes."

(Source: The News Minute)