Tamil Nadu

Transgender community turns up the heat on I

Following Monday’s protests against Shankar’s Pongal release I , outside the Censor Board office in Shastri Bhavan, the transgender community is planning to stage a second protest against the film on Friday.

Members of the community have strongly spoken out against the film, claiming it “ridicules and humiliates” them. The protest on Friday will be staged at Valluvar Kottam in demand of an apology and removal of certain scenes.

“We are protesting to raise consciousness and make sure we are not depicted in this way by any filmmaker in future. We aren’t asking the filmmakers to glorify us or depict us in a favourable light, but don’t make a film that insults us,” said Jaya, general manager of Sahodaran, an organisation that fights for LGBT rights, whose sister organisation, Thozhi, is co-ordinating the protests.

When asked how their demand wouldn’t amount to censorship, Jaya clarified that their demand for sensitivity was different from those made by religious groups. “There is a difference between criticising an ideology and insulting sexual minorities,” she said.

Filmmaker Shankar, who has earned a name for being ‘socially conscious’ by making films against corruption in the society, is now being accused of insensitivity.

“In Anniyan , the lead character punishes even the smallest of crimes severely. How could we pardon him for such a portrayal? The film portrays the love and life of the transgender community so badly,” she said.

Meanwhile, Ojas Rajani, who portrayed the character that is in the eye of the storm, has written a letter requesting the transgender community to not take offence at the portrayal, as director Shankar had shot the scenes in the movie “aesthetically”.

Another teaser fo r Marudhanayagam

It is the one film that needs no publicity of any kind and is probably the most-awaited Tamil film of all times.

Kamal Hassan’s Marudhanayagam — which almost every Tamil film fan wants to see made — manages to stay in the news 18 years after it was launched by the actor in a grand ceremony, and was later dropped citing budget constraints.

The actor had mentioned in an interview last year that the project could be revived at any moment if resources were available. Earlier this week, in a video on his official YouTube channel, ‘Ulaganayagan Tube’, Kamal talked about the project and its possible revival with an unnamed producer who has shown interest in it. The actor also spoke about another story of his, Vaamamargam , which could be his next big project.

Marudhanayagam was designed as a historical movie inspired by the life of an 18th-century warrior Yusuf Khan, who, according to the book Yusuf Khan – The Rebel Commandant by British author S.C. Hill , was once a soldier of the East India Company but later on led a rebellion against the then Nawab of Arcot and was hanged. (The e-book that details the life of Yusuf Khan is available for free download at www.archive.org under the Cornell University archives.)

(Reporting by

Udhav Naig and

Karthik Subramanian)

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2021 1:00:24 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/transgender-community-turns-up-the-heat-on-i/article6813646.ece

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