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In Tamil Nadu, row over actor playing Muttiah Muralitharan in biopic

Written by Arun Janardhanan
| Chennai |

October 16, 2020 1:32:37 am

A poster of the film 800 was launched on Tuesday

The discharge of the trailer of a brand new Tamil movie portraying the lifetime of Sri Lankan cricketer Muttiah Muralitharan has sparked an issue in Tamil Nadu, with followers, a number of political leaders and lots of distinguished movie trade personalities within the state protesting Tamil actor Vijay Sethupathi’s resolution to play the lead function.

The primary poster and the trailer of the biopic, titled ‘800’, launched on Tuesday, asserting the undertaking celebrating the lifetime of one of many world’s most profitable spin bowlers of all time.

Many in Tamil Nadu are, nonetheless, irked over Sethupathi’s resolution to enact the lifetime of an Indian-origin Tamil from Sri Lanka’s Kandy who had a questionable political stand in the course of the 26-year civil warfare involving the LTTE.

Many in Tamil Nadu have been against Muralitharan’s political stand throughout Lanka’s civil warfare, as he was seen as supporting the federal government in Colombo — at the same time as a Tamil superstar who both refused to or by no means bothered to acknowledge the struggles of Tamils in northern a part of Sri Lanka.

With Tamil nationalists mentioning that Muralitharan was near Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the nation’s war-time defence secretary, the cricketer’s help to Gotabaya in the course of the election campaigns have irked many in Tamil Nadu. At one level, Muralitharan was even rumoured to be appointed governor of Northern Province, the place a majority inhabitants is Tamil.

Whereas the filmmakers on Thursday issued an announcement within the face of protests, stating that it’s “purely a sports activities biography movie concerning the legendary cricketer”, Rajya Sabha MP and MDMK basic secretary Vaiko alleged that Muralitharan has been “recognized as a betrayer of the Tamil race” by Tamils world wide for supporting then Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa in the course of the civil warfare.

Pattali Makkal Kathi founder-leader S Ramadoss mentioned the news on Sethupathi enjoying the function was “surprising”. The actor, he acknowledged, mustn’t help a historical past of “betrayal” out of “ignorance”.

Naam Tamizhar Katchi chief Seeman questioned whether or not a film on a “betrayer” and a “stooge” of the Sinhalese might be screened in Tamil Nadu and urged Sethupathi to disassociate himself from the movie.

Distinguished Tamil Nadu-based director Cheran urged Sethupathi to keep away from the undertaking. In an announcement, Cheran mentioned it was not definitely worth the effort for Sethupathi to behave in a movie that isn’t greater than his followers or the struggling of Tamil folks. He acknowledged that the collective Tamil sentiment is towards the film.

Condemning Sethupathi’s resolution, lyricist Thamarai mentioned Muralitharan was being opposed as a result of he had acted because the “loudspeaker” of majority Sinhalese politics and Rajapaksa in Sri Lanka, at the same time as LTTE had by no means stopped him from enjoying cricket for his nation.

Veteran Tamil filmmaker Bharathirajaa mentioned if Sethupathi avoids the movie he can be remembered with gratitude by the Tamil folks in every single place. “The Tamil race won’t ever forgive betrayers,” PTI quoted him.

Quickly after the undertaking was introduced on Tuesday, #ShameonVijaySethupathi began trending on Twitter on Wednesday and Thursday. Of their assertion on Thursday, the filmmakers mentioned, “It got here to our discover that our movie 800…is being politicised in some ways…. We, as producers, guarantee that this movie won’t showcase any scenes that may belittle the struggles of Eelam Tamils in Sri Lanka or damage their sentiments in any manner…” —WITH PTI INPUTS

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