Chennai, Oct 16 (IANS) Congress party’s Lok Sabha member Karti P Chidambaram on Friday said it is wrong to bully Tamil movie actor Vijay Sethupathi not to act in Sri Lankan cricketer Muttiah Muralitharan’s biopic ‘800’.
“I condemn the brutality of the Sri Lankan army against the Tamils. The Sri Lankan Tamils should get their rights in Sri Lanka. And the Sri Lankan Tamil issue should also be divorced of LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam),” Karti Chidambaram told IANS.
Continuing further he said: “It is wrong to bully an actor not to play a particular role.”
In a tweet Karti Chidambaram said: “Will the fringe, of all spectrums, start deciding which actor can act as which character in any movie?Will they also decide on whom movies can be made? Perhaps they should issue an “advisory” on historic and mythological characters that can and cannot be portrayed and by whom.”
He also pointed out that Muralitharan had played for the Indian Premier League (IPL) team Chennai Super Kings.
A controversy has arisen over Tamil movie actor Sethupathi agreeing to play the lead role in Sri Lankan spinner of Tamil origin Muttiah Muralitharan’s biopic.
Parties that are sympathetic to the LTTE such as the MDMK, the Nam Tamilar Katchi and some others in the movie field have urged Sethupathi to drop himself from the movie project citing Muralitharan’s political stance.
The Sri Lankan spinner Muralitharan a Tamil by birth has taken 800 test wickets and hence the movie is named as “800”.
He married a Chennai girl.
The opposition is due to Muralitharan’s utterings which are in favour of the Sri Lanka’s ruling regime.
According to Muralitharan, his views were twisted for political reasons.
The founder of Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) S. Ramadoss in a statement said Sethupathi will become part of Tamil Eelam history if he drops out of the movie or else will be seen as a betrayer.
Similarly, MDMK General Secretary Vaiko has also asked Sethupathi not to accept the role.
The leader of Naam Tamilar Katchi Seeman, while urging Sethupathi to drop the movie, added that “800” may be released in Colombo but not in Tamil Nadu.
Seeman said Muralitharan supported the Sinhalese in the Lankan elections.
Noted Tamil movie Director Bharathirajaa, terming Muralitharan as betrayer of Lankan Tamils, urged Sethupathi not to play the Lankan spinner in his biopic and decline the role.
Bharathirajaa said when Tamils were being killed by the Sinhalese regime, Muralitharan supported that.
Even though the movie’s producers — Dar Motion Pictures — have said the biopic would focus on Muralithiran’s cricketing life and achievements, it cannot avoid the internal strife and the upheavals the island nation witnessed during his early days and how the cricketer survived and came up, a senior journalist, not wanting to be quoted, told IANS.
Sri Lanka is a democracy like India and regime changes have happened in last several decades through ballot boxes. The country is basically democracy-oriented and hence there should be space to hear the views of others, the journalist added.
There are also views that whether only one narrative, pro LTTE, should be paraded in Tamil Nadu and there should be no space for any other narrative in this democracy.
The shooting for the movie is expected to begin in March 2021. The movie would be shot in India, Sri Lanka, England and Australia among other locations.
Given Muralitharan’s popularity as an international spinner, the producers are planning to dub the movie in Hindi, Bengali, Sinhalese and also have English sub-titles.