Director Pa Ranjith, who has delivered back-to-back hits like Kabali and Kaala starring Rajinikanth, has been slapped with charges of promoting enmity between groups for his ‘controversial’ speech about Rajaraja Cholan.
Rajaraja I was a Cholan emperor from present day south India who ruled over the Cholan kingdom of medieval Tamil Nadu, parts of northern India, two thirds of Sri Lankan territory, Maldives and parts of East Asia, between 985 and 1014 CE.
In a caustic remark against the king, Ranjith said it was during the era of the famed Cholan rule that lands of the oppressed communities were systemically appropriated. Ranjith also said there was a race currently going on among castes in Tamil Nadu to claim the legacy of Cholan.
Ranjith made the comments while delivering a speech at Thirupanandal in Thanjavur district on June 5. Following a complaint by Hindu Makkal Katchi, a case has been registered. Police sources said, “In this regard, we have registered a case against the director under Ps Cr.No.105/19 U/S 153,153(A),(1),(a) IPC.”
The director, couldn’t be reached for comment.
Ranjith is a dalit activist and through his films, he has openly highlighted the troubles of those living on the economic societal fringes. Kabali was about the life of Malaysian Tamils oppressed by Chinese hegemonic forces. Kaala talked about how land was an instrument to power in Dharavi. His film Pariyerum Perumal speaks of the casteist society we live in, showing a young Dalit law student being humiliated for his caste identity and his friendship with a savarna woman.
Ranjith has frequently raised his voice against real life caste atrocities. Last year, in an interview with News Minute, Ranjith said that he wants to make films on forgotten heroes, narrate stories that don’t catch the eye of the mainstream. His Bollywood film is going to be on tribal leader Birsa Munda who fought the British in pre-Independence India.
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