The Hindu Makkal Katchi in Tamil Nadu has announced a reward of Rs 1,001 for anyone who kicks actor Vijay Sethupathi, alleging that he insulted U Muthuramalingam Thevar, a freedom fighter, politician and a patriarch of the Thevar community. The official Twitter account of the outfit said, "Arjun Sampath announces cash award, for kicking actor Vijay Sethupathi for insulting Thevar Ayya. 1 kick = Rs.1001/- for any one who kicks him, until he apologises (sic)."
The move came after a man, identified as Maha Gandhi, attempted to attack the actor and his team on November 3 at the Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru. A video that has since gone viral, showed Vijay Sethupathi was being escorted out of the airport premises by his team and the security personnel when the man runs towards the actor from behind, and tries to kick him with his knee
In a series of interviews after the event, the man claimed that he was a co-passenger on the flight and wanted to wish Vijay Sethupathi for receiving the national award, but the actor responded with a sarcastic remark asking "is this a nation". Maha Gandhi further claimed that since Vijay Sethupathi hailed from south Tamil Nadu, he asked him about whether he attended the Thevar Guru Puja held in Muthuramalingam's honour. "Vijay Sethupathi replied that the person I'm talking about is a Jewish carpenter (Jesus) and not who I am saying," Maha Gandhi alleged.
Maha Gandhi further alleged that after getting off the flight and collecting his luggage, he was hit by two people and he tried to attack Vijay Sethupathi in retaliation. He said that he was waiting for the CCTV footage from the airport to emerge, to prove his side of the story.
It is based on Maha Gandhi's claim that the Hindu Makkal Katchi announced the 'reward' for people kicking the actor and demanding his apology. While Vijay Sethupathi is yet to respond to the allegations, he had earlier told TNM that it was "a very minor issue (that) was blown out of proportion because an onlooker shot the incident on his phone." He also alleged that Maha Gandhi was drunk and that "he got into an argument with us. The argument continued when we landed."