The Madras High Court on Thursday quashed the FIR against Surya, Jyothika and T.S. Gnanavel. The FIR, lodged at the Velachery police station, alleged that his 2021 film Jai Bheem was produced with the intention of inciting communal violence among communities and creating Vanniyar phobia.
Jai Bheem, based on the true story of Sengeni and Rajakannu of the Irular tribe, drew criticism for its inaccurate portrayal of the Vanniyar community.
Many people waved red flags for the sight of a calendar with an Agni Kundam (community symbol) at a police officer’s house. A section of the Vanniyar community argued that the officer did not actually belong to the community and claimed that the film was deliberately portraying them in a bad light. He criticized the producers for naming the police officer Gurumurthy (the name of a popular leader of the Vanniyar community).
Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) leader Anbumani Ramdas also called Jai Bheem a planned attack on the community. Later, the makers fixed the scenes and Surya released a statement saying that he did not intend to hurt anyone’s sentiments.
Despite such controversies, Jai Bheem, released on Amazon Prime Video, became a critical favorite. It was the official Indian submission at the 94th Academy Awards. However, the film did not make it to the shortlist.
T.S. Jnanavel, Jai Bheem also stars Lizmol Jose, Manikandan, Rajisha Vijayan and Prakash Raj.