The city unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will move to the Bombay high court on Friday with a plea to stop the screening of the film Madras Cafe starring John Abraham.
Capt Tamil Selvam, BJP corporator and chief of the Tamil front of the party, said that the film, which is scheduled to be released, ‘was an insult to Tamilians and portrayed them in a poor light.’
“Several of my friends who watched the preview held in Chennai gave me a detailed account of the film. I am convinced that the movie is anti-Tamil,’’ said Capt Selvam.
Mumbai BJP chief Ashish Shelar, said, “I fully support the stand taken by Tamil workers of my party. Their sentiments have been hurt and hence the BJP will not allow the screening of the film. It is an issue, which goes beyond the right to expression.”
In the past few days Tamil Nadu has witnessed several violent protests against the release of Madras Cafe, which, the protesters alleged, not only lowered the image of Tamils, but also debunked the slain LTTE chief Velupillai Prabhakaran. Capt Selvam said the film praised the Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa ‘who had committed genocide on the Tamils of his country.’
However, John Abraham told dna that there was no way in which he was going to be cowed down by any group. He said the film was a work of fiction and was not inspired by the life of Prabhakaran or anyone else. “It is anything, but anti-Tamil.
The movie does not take sides. It just portrays how one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. It captures the period from the ‘80s to the mid-90’s’,” said the actor. The actor said the film has been handled with sensitivity and has been approved by the censor board.
Abraham has produced the film along with Viacom 18 Motion Pictures and others. On Thursday morning, a large number of activists of the BJP staged a demonstration outside Cinemax multiplex at Sion.
Similarly, another Tamil outfit, Viduthalai Ciruthai Katchi led by its president Arjun Ganapathy marched to Aurora cinema and handed over a memorandum to the cinema halls in-charge Nambi Rajan asking him to desist from screening the movie.
On Friday the protesters plan to stage demonstrations outside cinema halls and also outside Abraham’s residence.