Groups protest portrayal of king in Vadivelu’s comeback film
Comedy star Vadivelu’s return vehicle Tenaliraman is facing opposition from some Telugu groups which are seeking a ban on the film claiming that it is disrespectful to Krishnadevaraya, the 16th century Vijayanagara emperor.
These groups moved the High Court on Friday and are also seeking the intervention of the Tamil Nadu government. The film’s producers AGS Entertainment had earlier this month clarified that the film was based on an imaginary story conceived on the morals in popular folk tales, and was not a historic representation of the life of any person. The clarifications have been coming from the film crew right from the time of the audio launch, when Vadivelu had clarified that the king shown in the film is never named and is merely referred to as ‘Maamannar’ (great king).
On Friday, two Telugu organisations filed a writ petition in the Madras High Court seeking a direction to the Tamil Nadu Government to pass appropriate orders on their representation with regard to the film. The petitioners, Tamil Nadu Telugu Makkal Peravai and Tamil Nadu Telugu Yuva Sakthi said that the film’s producer had not considered the facts about the famous Krishnadevaraya. They had produced the movie with its own ideology. “History should not be twisted,” the petitioners said.
The First Bench comprising the Acting Chief Justice Satish K. Agnihotri and Justice M.M. Sundresh on Friday ordered that the petition be posted before another Bench.
At a press meet in the city, representatives of various Telugu organisations said they were also attempting to make a representation to the Chief Secretary seeking a halt to the release of the film. “Tenaliraman is a historic character who was a poet in the court of Krishnadevaraya, a great king. But the trailer of this film shows the king as a person who has many wives and children, and ignored his subjects,” Thangavel Swamy of Sillavar Rajakambalam Naicker Sangam, one of the protesting groups, said.
R. Rangarajan, director, AGS Entertainment, said the film had been cleared by the Censor Board after taking into consideration the point about hurting the sentiments of any section of the people. “We have already said that this is based on an imaginary story and any coincidences are unintentional.”