Vijay’s ‘Sarkar’ faces AIADMK ire; shows disrupted

Vijay’s ‘Sarkar’ faces AIADMK ire; shows disrupted

AIADMK cadre tearing the banner of actor Vijay's Sarkar at Kasi Theatre in Chennai. DH photo

Tamil actor Vijay’s latest movie Sarkar faced vehement opposition from AIADMK.

Party cadres tore banners and disrupted the film's screening at several theatres across Tamil Nadu because the film portray's the ruling party and its government in a “poor light”.

AIADMK cadre and ministers took objection to scenes that show throwing freebies like mixer grinders and wet grinders into fire and portrayal of the negative character played by Varalakshmi Sarathkumar— many say the character Komalavalli is the original name of late chief minister J Jayalalithaa.

Mixer grinders and wet grinders are some of the long list of freebies delivered to voters by Jayalalithaa after she swept the state in 2011 Assembly elections.

The much-awaited movie was embroiled in a raging row much before its release after a budding assistant director claimed that the storyline was his.

The issue was resolved after the producers, Sun Pictures owned by DMK president M K Stalin’s nephew Kalanidhi Maran, promised that it would display a thanks card to him before screening of the movie.

Sarkar has many politically-loaded dialogues and seems to suggest that Vijay is the only person who could fill the “leadership vacuum” created due to the death of stalwarts Jayalalithaa and M Karunanidhi.

As the movie opened to full house in theatres across the state on Tuesday, it waded into a political row.

The nearly 3-hour film tears into Tamil Nadu’s political leadership, most importantly the ruling AIADMK, the much-publicised freebies of the dravidian majors that have ruled the state alternatively since 1967.

Close to a dozen ministers attacked Vijay and demanded that the producers remove the controversial scenes from the movie.

While Law Minister C Ve Shanmugham said that Vijay has shades of an “extremist”, his colleague and Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar said that the actor cannot recreate the magic of the AIADMK founder M G Ramachandran— who ruled the state for 10 years.

“In the garb of acting, the movie has criticised the Tamil Nadu government’s policies. By showing people throwing freebies given by the government into fire, the movie is trying to instigate people to subscribe to violence. He (Vijay) has behaved like an extremist and we have doubts as to whether he has links with organisation that are trying to disturb peace in the state,” Shanmugham said.

A few shows of Sarkar in cities like Madurai and Coimbatore were cancelled after the AIADMK supporters gheraoed the movie theatres and threatened to continue agitations if shows are not suspended.

In Chennai, the AIADMK cadres gathered outside the Kasi Theatre in Jafferkhanpet, tore banners of the movie and demanded removal of controversial scenes.  

While the AIADMK cadres took to streets, rebel leader T T V Dhinakaran questioned why the movie did not criticise the freebies like colour television sets announced by the DMK.

“The movie was not taken with an objective to create political awareness; its only intention seems to seek publicity. I don’t want to give free publicity to Sarkar by talking about it,” Dhinakaran said.  

This is not the first time that Vijay’s movie has landed into a controversy— his previous film Mersal stoked a row when it had dialogues criticising GST and demonetisation.

The movie begins with Sundar Ramasamy, donned by Vijay, a corporate honcho touching base in Chennai to cast his vote.

And when Sundar finds that his vote has already been cast by someone, he takes the legal recourse and gets the election results declared null and void.

In the process of taking on the political might of the rulers, the movie imitates almost every politician in Tamil Nadu.