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Jai Bhim for all its success and hard-hitting plot has run into a political controversy. The war of words is out in the open between PMK leader Anbumani Ramadoss and actor Suriya. Twitteratti is trending ‘We stand with Surya’ and JaiBhim hashtags as netizens are garnering support for the actor on the social media platform.

The crux of Jai Bhim’s story is how Rajakannu, hailing from an oppressed community in Cuddalore, is framed in a case and dies in police custody.

Advocate Chandru appearing for the victim manages to get justice for his family. The plot revolves around a true story that happened 28 years ago. Suriya has played the role of advocate Chandru.

The movie is based on a true incident but the makers have taken creative license. The place, the communities depicted and the character names have been changed. Some  characters have been added too. In short, it is fiction. The story is based on police brutality let loose on marginalized sections of society. The narration is designed to pinch the conscience of viewers.

Praising the story, M K Stalin has recalled his days under police custody and the brutality he faced during Emergency days.

Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi leader Thol Thirumavalavan feels that the movie has made people take note of the oppressed and their sufferings which generally go unnoticed in society. It is a story of an activist who fought for the justice of such people through legal means, Thirumavalavan opines.
Communist party leaders have recalled the association of their comrades with the oppressed in human rights violations cases. Despite the praise, Jai Bhim has now run into a controversy. Alleging that the movie shows the vanniyar community in a bad light, Anbumani Ramadoss has raised nine questions to actor Suriya.

Responding to the questions, Suriya has said that Jai Bhim is not a documentary. It is fiction based on a true story. Neither he nor the crew intended to hurt any individual or a particular community. He has explained that the controversial references were removed when the mistakes were pointed out.

Meanwhile, Pu Tha Arulmozhi from Vanniyar Sangam has sent a defamation notice demanding Rs 5 crore for damages. The controversy is getting murkier. There are hundreds of movies based on true stories and Jai Bhim is merely one among them.

The controversy is getting murkier. There are hundreds of movies based on true stories and Jai Bhim is merely one among them

Often, movie names or dialogues are changed when allegations of defaming a particular community or caste arise. Some movies have had to face many hurdles even for their release.

It is not fair to fault Jai Bhim or the movie crew after they have cleared the air that it was fiction. Marginalized people are indeed being framed in cases where the police could not find the true culprits or in circumstances where they don’t want to find the actual perpetrators. There are cases in which the truth never comes to light.

Jai Bhim intends to throw light on such cases and the custodial deaths of poor and marginalized people. The movie has triggered a debate on such brutality and police excesses and the legal means to stop them. Unfortunately, the debate is going in the wrong direction which is not healthy for society.
Suriya has appealed to people not to confine the movie to a political slugfest. Anyone in power who is unmindful of the suffering of the downtrodden is indifferent to their cause. Such an attitude is not limited to people belonging to any particular religion, caste, community or creed. The movie merely raises the question of the attitude of people in positions of power, says Suriya.

Anyone in power who is unmindful of the suffering of the downtrodden is indifferent to their cause. Such an attitude is not limited to people belonging to any particular religion, caste, community or creed.

When a criminal complaint is filed in this country, sometimes the police arrest the accused before investigating and securing enough evidence. Once the accused is secured, some unscrupulous policemen start fabricating evidence to justify their decision to arrest. In the worst cases, the arrested are tortured to confess the crimes they have not committed. This results in fabricated chargesheets being filed in court.

In developed nations, the court issues the arrest warrant after the police furnish enough evidence and file a chargesheet. Once the accused are arrested, the court takes up the case for hearing to pronounce the accused guilty or not-guilty. Human rights activists are demanding that Indian laws and practices should be changed to follow a similar procedure which would avoid custodial deaths such as that of Rajakannu.

Anbumani says that atrocities against anyone cannot be tolerated and everyone should join together against such atrocities. But it appears he has not taken note of what Surya is saying. A movie or a work of art can turn the attention towards a social issue but the transformation can happen only when the government and political parties truly work towards it.


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