Bengaluru: A Tamil biopic on veteran Sri Lankan cricketer Muttiah Muralitharan has become a flashpoint in Tamil Nadu on what is considered to be famous bowlers’ support for the Sinhala government in Colombo during the 26-year civil war in the country.
The film is titled 800 The number of wickets taken by Muralitharan in Test cricket and features popular Tamil actor Vijay Sethupathi in the lead. His poster came out on October 13, and Vijay is criticized by many sections for signing the film.
Muralitharan is part of the Sri Lankan minority Tamil community and grew up amid the bloody civil war in the north of the country.
The civil war was sparked by a Tamil uprising that erupted in 1983 in response to what the community described as an attempt by the Sinhala majority to deprive them of their rights, with the colonial rulers of the nations also believed to have played a role in fomenting differences.
The war was finally crushed in 2009, under a government led by Mahinda Rajapaksa, then president and now prime minister. Rajapaksa and his brother Gotabaya Rajabaksa, who was Secretary of Defense when the war was crushed and who is now president of the nation, have been accused of gross human rights violations against Tamils in their attempt to end the war.
Critics of Muralitharan do not appreciate the fact that he is considered close to the Rajapaksas.
After the poster came out, critics of Muralitharan unearthed an interview in which he was allegedly heard that 2009 was the best year of his life. His participation in Gotabayas’ election campaign in 2019 was also a point of consternation.
He says May 2009 is the happiest day of his life. If the Tamil genocide is so big for him, why can’t his biopic be published in Sinhala !? pic.twitter.com/Ki0htAbk3h
– MAHENDRAN THANGAVEL (@ RAJARAJAN1000) October 14, 2020
I am grateful to cricket legend Muttiah Muralitharan for joining the world’s first zero carbon election campaign – let’s protect our homeland! # #ActioningTheBlueprint #VisionInAction #zerocarbonfootprint #VoteGOTA pic.twitter.com/5PeWqAZ37q
– Gotabaya Rajapaksa (@GotabayaR) October 31, 2019
Muralitharan has denied all the claims in light of the controversy, offering his traumatic account of the war to claim that his 2009 remark was simply meant to convey his happiness at the end of the war.
Also read: India dirty little war in Jaffna, heroism in the midst of ineptitude and new friendships under fire
AIADMK and many other parts of Tamil Nadu have criticized the film and those behind it.
Tamil Development Minister Ma Foi Pandiarajan said that Muralitharans’ view that the Tamil murders were not genocide but the crushing of revolutionaries hurt the feelings of Tamils across the world.
ThePrint could not independently verify if Muralitharan had already said this.
If the movie is all about cricket, I have no problem. But if it gets into the political realm and glorifies what Muralitharan said about Tamils, then it would be very difficult to defend, added the minister.
A PTI report city MDMK General Secretary and MP Vaiko said Muralitharan was identified as a traitor of the Tamil race by Tamils around the world for supporting then-Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa during the civil war of 2009.
PMK founder S. Ramadoss said the news of Sethupathi playing the role of Muralitharan was shocking.
The actor should not support a story of betrayal out of ignorance, he told PTI. The cricketer, he says, is a traitor to the Tamils and a loyalist to the Rajapaksa brothers.
In an open letter to Sethupathi, famous Tamil director Bharathiraja asked if he wanted his face to be forever associated with a racist person.
I speak on behalf of Tamils all over the world, I try to avoid being a part of this biopic about the life of someone who hates Tamils, he wrote.
The DMK opposition has yet to comment on the matter.
The late DMK leader Mr. Karunanidhi has courted several controversies for his statements about liberating Eelam from the Tamil Tigers (LTTE), the main Tamil insurgency group during the war, and its alleged proximity to its leader V Prabhakaran.
Muralitharan is the bowling coach of the IPL Sunrisers Hyderabad team, which is part of the Sun TV group run by the Karunanidhi family, who also run the DMK.
The Naam Tamilar Katchi, a fringe outfit from Tamil Nadu, launched an online #ShameonVijaySethupathi campaign on Twitter to protest the film, with many social media users also criticizing the actor.
How could he (Vijay) wear the Sri Lankan flag on his chest? Shame on you. This is the same government that massacred our Tamil brothers, a Twitter follower said.
#MuthaiahMuralidharan Traitor of the Tamils. He would love to do anything for money. He is not more than these people. @ShaneWarne @sachin_rt @DhoniOfficial Why should his life be recorded in the cinema? Everything is to put an end to the genocide committed by Sri Lanka.
– (@amizhdhan) October 16, 2020
I do not belong to NTK. I am Tamizhachi, I raise my voice for the Tamil people. I feel good saying that I am Tamil rather than compressing Tamils into a political party.
– Dhivya dharshini (@dhivya_dharshin) October 14, 2020
– Ashwanth (@iam_ashwanth) October 14, 2020
Also read: 28 years after the death of Rajiv Gandhis, return to the LTTE-Lanka link that killed him
In defense of films
In 2019, when the film’s launch was announced, Tamil Nadu saw many protests. Sethupati then asked that the film not be judged before its release.
I would not do anything that could hurt my people. I wouldn’t want to lose the support of the people who have always given me their love, so Sethupati made a statement.
Dar Motion Pictures, under whose banner the film came out, defended it, claiming that art is beyond borders; it unites people everywhere. Artists belong to the world. We only want to spread positivity, love and hope, he added, saying the film is purely a sports biography and should not be politicized.
As producers, we assure that this film will not feature any scenes that downplay the struggles of the Eelam Tamils in Sri Lanka or hurt their feelings in any way, he said.
Muralitharan, who is married to the daughter of a prominent Tamil medical couple from Chennai, said in a statement released in light of the controversy that he had personally suffered because of the war.
He said his 2009 remarks had been misinterpreted, adding that he knew the scale of the losses caused by the war.
I am hurt to be portrayed as a person against Tamils. I give this explanation to neutral people because only bad news is shared even though I know I cannot pacify those who oppose me, he added.
Also read: Why war criminal Silva as head of the army stirred the world, but Sri Lanka isn’t bothered
Why the news media is in crisis and how to fix it
India needs even more free, fair, open-ended, questioning journalism in the face of multiple crises.
But the news media are in a crisis of their own. There have been brutal layoffs and pay cuts. The best of journalism is dwindling, giving way to crass spectacle in prime time.
ThePrint has the best young reporters, columnists and editors working for it. To support journalism of this quality, smart, thoughtful people like you have to pay for it. Whether you live in India or abroad, you can do it here.
Support our journalism
What Are The Main Benefits Of Comparing Car Insurance Quotes Online
LOS ANGELES, CA / ACCESSWIRE / June 24, 2020, / Compare-autoinsurance.Org has launched a new blog post that presents the main benefits of comparing multiple car insurance quotes. For more info and free online quotes, please visit https://compare-autoinsurance.Org/the-advantages-of-comparing-prices-with-car-insurance-quotes-online/ The modern society has numerous technological advantages. One important advantage is the speed at which information is sent and received. With the help of the internet, the shopping habits of many persons have drastically changed. The car insurance industry hasn't remained untouched by these changes. On the internet, drivers can compare insurance prices and find out which sellers have the best offers. View photos The advantages of comparing online car insurance quotes are the following: Online quotes can be obtained from anywhere and at any time. Unlike physical insurance agencies, websites don't have a specific schedule and they are available at any time. Drivers that have busy working schedules, can compare quotes from anywhere and at any time, even at midnight. Multiple choices. Almost all insurance providers, no matter if they are well-known brands or just local insurers, have an online presence. Online quotes will allow policyholders the chance to discover multiple insurance companies and check their prices. Drivers are no longer required to get quotes from just a few known insurance companies. Also, local and regional insurers can provide lower insurance rates for the same services. Accurate insurance estimates. Online quotes can only be accurate if the customers provide accurate and real info about their car models and driving history. Lying about past driving incidents can make the price estimates to be lower, but when dealing with an insurance company lying to them is useless. Usually, insurance companies will do research about a potential customer before granting him coverage. Online quotes can be sorted easily. Although drivers are recommended to not choose a policy just based on its price, drivers can easily sort quotes by insurance price. Using brokerage websites will allow drivers to get quotes from multiple insurers, thus making the comparison faster and easier. For additional info, money-saving tips, and free car insurance quotes, visit https://compare-autoinsurance.Org/ Compare-autoinsurance.Org is an online provider of life, home, health, and auto insurance quotes. This website is unique because it does not simply stick to one kind of insurance provider, but brings the clients the best deals from many different online insurance carriers. In this way, clients have access to offers from multiple carriers all in one place: this website. On this site, customers have access to quotes for insurance plans from various agencies, such as local or nationwide agencies, brand names insurance companies, etc. "Online quotes can easily help drivers obtain better car insurance deals. All they have to do is to complete an online form with accurate and real info, then compare prices", said Russell Rabichev, Marketing Director of Internet Marketing Company. CONTACT: Company Name: Internet Marketing CompanyPerson for contact Name: Gurgu CPhone Number: (818) 359-3898Email: [email protected]: https://compare-autoinsurance.Org/ SOURCE: Compare-autoinsurance.Org View source version on accesswire.Com:https://www.Accesswire.Com/595055/What-Are-The-Main-Benefits-Of-Comparing-Car-Insurance-Quotes-Online View photos