‘Exposes their agenda’: Prakash Raj reacts to ‘Jai Bhim’ slapping scene which sparked row

Prakash Raj plays a cop who is seen slapping a man who speaks in Hindi during questioning. The scene drew flak with Twitter users alleging that it propagates ‘anti Hindi’ sentiments.
Prakash Raj speaking into a mic
Prakash Raj speaking into a mic
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In Jai Bhim, the new film helmed by Suriya which released on Amazon Prime this week, actor Prakash Raj plays an honest cop who heads a commission created to probe false police cases foisted on tribal people. The film received good reviews. However, one scene where Prakash Raj is seen slapping a man who speaks in Hindi triggered outrage on Twitter. Several people alleged that the particular was unwarranted, and that it propagated an ‘anti Hindi’ agenda.

Now reacting to all the outrage, Prakash Raj has said that the criticism only exposes ‘the agenda’ of those who are offended. “After watching a film like Jai Bhim, they did not see the agony of the tribal people, they did not see and feel terrible about the injustice, but they only saw the slap. That is all they understood. This exposes their agenda,” he tells News9 in an interview.

Making a point on ‘Hindi imposition’ on South Indians, he said that certain things like the ‘anger of South Indians on Hindi being imposed on them’ have to be documented. He asks how, else will a person probing a case react when he knows the person being interrogated is speaking Hindi despite knowing the local language (Tamil) to dodge questioning.

Further, he added that the film was set in the 1990s, and if that person, in that era, had Hindi imposed on him, he would have reacted that way only, he says, adding he stands by this thought. “There are over a thousand cases of tribal women who have not received any formal education being sent notices in English. There is a need to see the larger perspective,” he adds. Pointing out that for some people, the scene would have been irking because it was Prakash Raj on screen, the actor said that there was no point reacting to such bigotry.

Justifying why the criticism was unfair, the actor pointed out that he had also contributed to Hindi cinema. “I came to Hindi very late but I have also given back to that industry. It's okay for us to have differences, we have to learn to live with them. Focus here is on injustice. Let us be fair,” he added. 

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