Vijay's Sarkar bows down to protests; contentious scenes to be deleted
Even as ministers called for the deletion of the contentious scenes and threatened to take the legal route against the film, protests erupted in different parts of the state
Vijay's Deepavali release, Sarkar, directed by AR Murugadoss, has been facing a barrage of issues over the past month, with the most recent being the ire of senior AIADMK leaders like Fisheries minister D Jayakumar, Law minister CV Shanmugham, and the Minister for Information and Publicity, Kadambur Raju, who have all registered their outrage against the film for portraying certain government schemes in bad light.
These scenes include a dig at the welfare schemes made popular by late Chief Ministers, Karunanidhi and Jayalalithaa, and in one scene, director Murugadoss (in a cameo) hurls a government freebie into the fire. In addition, Varalaxmi Sarathkumar, who plays an antagonist in the film, is named Komalavalli, the birth name of Jayalalithaa.
Even as the ministers called for the deletion of the contentious scenes and threatened to take the legal route against the film, protests erupted in different parts of the state. After these protests took hold across the state, the theatre owners association has now announced that these contentious scenes will be deleted.
"We have decided to delete the scenes that the AIADMK workers found to be offensive," said Shanmugasundaram, owner of Udhayam Theatres.
Discussing the changes made to the film that will be applicable from Friday, distributor Tirupur Subramaniam reveals that among other things, the word Komalavalli has been muted from the film. "The new Sarkar won't be one that hurts sentiments. We have spoken with Sarkar's Tamil Nadu distributors, Thenandal Studios Limited, and have decided to make the necessary changes. The revised version of the film is expected to reach theatres by Friday night," he added.
As these are voluntary cuts, and not ones suggested by the Censor board, Sarkar doesn't need to be re-certified.
On Thursday, AIADMK workers, led by MLA VV Rajan Chellappa, staged protests outside theatres in Madurai demanding that the screening of the film be halted till those scenes get deleted. In Coimbatore, posters of the actor and the film were torn down. The protests also hit Chennai as similar incidents were reported near Kasi Theatre where banners were torn down by AIADMK workers.
Meanwhile, actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan had tweeted out his support to the film.
முறையாகச்சான்றிதழ் பெற்று வெளியாகியிருக்கும் சர்கார் படத்துக்கு,சட்டவிரோதமான அரசியல் சூழ்ச்சிகள் மூலம் அழுத்தம் கொடுப்பது இவ்வரசுக்கு புதிதல்ல.விமர்சனங்களை ஏற்கத்துணிவில்லாத அரசு தடம் புரளும்.அரசியல் வியாபாரிகள் கூட்டம் விரைவில் ஒழியும்.நாடாளப்போகும் நல்லவர் கூட்டமே வெல்லும்.— Kamal Haasan (@ikamalhaasan) November 8, 2018
Sarkar, produced by Kalanithi Maran-owned Sun Pictures, also stars Keerthy Suresh and Radharavi in important roles.