Several shows of Tamil actor Joseph Vijay’s latest movie Sarkar were cancelled across Tamil Nadu due to protests by the cadres of the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), News Today has reported.
A large number of AIADMK cadres protested in front of theatres where the movie was being screened, demanding that the shows be cancelled. They destroyed banners and cut-outs of the actor and raised slogans against him. There were no shows of the movie in theatres across the state, reports had said.
Several colourful posters and cutouts have come up in various parts of Tamil Nadu hailing the actor as the next Chief Minister of the state. The actor’s fans have attempted to whip up a frenzy over the movie and believe that it is a precursor to their hero’s imminent plunge into politics.
Following the backlash, the producers decided to remove portions which AIADMK functionaries claim defame late former chief minister J Jayalalithaa and many welfare schemes of AIADMK government.
AIADMK men took serious objection to the villainous character played by actress Varalaxmi Sarathkumar that goes by the name of Komalavalli. AIADMK members claim that it was Jayalalithaa’s original name. Opponents of the former chief minister have often attacked by her by invoking her supposed original name, using the underlying casteist connotations.
Several dialogues in the movie, criticising the state government for giving out freebies, had invited the wrath of the AIADMK leaders. Ironically, the movie has been produced by Sun Pictures, owned by Kalanithi Maran, grand nephew of late former Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) President M Karunanidhi and son of late DMK leader Murasoli Maran. DMK too pioneered several freebies based scheme when they ruled the state.
State Ministers Kadambur Raju, C V Shanmugam and D Jayakumar have come out against the movie. Protests continued in Chennai, Tiruchi, Karur, Salem, Madurai, Thanjavur, Kanchipuram and other regions of the state.
Earlier, an office-bearer of Theatre Owners Association, Tirupur Subramaniam, and Tamil Film Exhibitors Association president, Abirami Ramanathan, among others, had informed that Sun Pictures agreed to cut the scenes opposed by the AIADMK and submit the movie for re-censor. Latest reports related to the issue suggest that the scenes which triggered protests throughout the state have been cut and a re-censored version has hit screens.
In a related development, the director of the movie, A R Murugadoss, approached the Madras High Court today for anticipatory bail. He had earlier tweeted claiming that police tried to reach him at his residence late in the night.
“Police had come to my house late tonight and banged the door several times. Since I was not there, they left the premises. Right now I was told there is no police outside my house,” he said on the micro-blogging site.
According to reports, police sources ruled out any moves to arrest him. Madras High Court has, however, restrained police from arresting him till 27 November.