Udhayanidhi had already requested the filmmakers, on behalf of his party people, to change the year of incidents shown in Dhanush-starrer ‘Karnan’ from 1997 to 1995.

Udhayanidhi Stalin holding mic
Flix Controversy Thursday, April 15, 2021 - 19:13

Actor-turned-politician Udhayanidhi Stalin has asked DMK party supporters and cadres to drop the debate on Dhanush-starrer Karnan and instead focus on the creative work. DMK supporters had recently raised objections to the year in which director Mari Selvaraj had set his recent Tamil film Karnan, which is loosely based on a series of caste atrocities that took place in southern parts of Tamil Nadu, at the center of which was caste tensions and denial of public transportation buses to certain villages in the region. Udhayanidhi’s request comes even after the filmmakers changed the year from 1997 to ‘later half of the ’90s and some DMK party workers were still unhappy.

DMK members had taken offense that the events in the film were set during 1997 and clamoured for the film’s director to change the year from 1997 to 1995 when the actual events that allegedly inspired the film took place in Thoothukudi’s Kodiyankulam. AIADMK’s J Jayalalithaa was Tamil Nadu’s Chief Minister in 1995. Udhayanidhi had already requested the filmmakers, on behalf of his party people, to change the year shown in the film as it implied that the caste crimes and atrocities depicted in the film, based on real events, took place during his grandfather and DMK’s late patriarch M Karunanidhi’s term as Tamil Nadu’s Chief Minister.

Following this request from Udhayanidhi, the film’s team changed 1997 to the ‘later half of the 90s.’ However, some DMK members continued to object since the ‘later part of the 90s’ still meant it could have been 1997. In a series of tweets shared from his official handle on Thursday, Udhayanidhi, who made his electoral debut this Assembly election from the Chepauk constituency under the DMK ticket, called for a conclusion to the objection raised by DMK cadres and supporters on this topic. 

“There’s no doubt that Karnan is an undeniable film. […] Everyone knows that the Kodiyankulam riots took place in 1995 under the AIADMK regime. There is ample evidence for that. However, there are voices of dissatisfaction even with the revision of the 'late 90s’. Kalaignar’s contributions to the upliftment of the oppressed are indestructible by time. No one can deny or hide it. So, let’s drop this issue and focus on creative work. I would like to extend my love and greetings again to the Karnan film crew,” Udhay wrote.

However, director Mari Selvaraj has categorically denied that his film is based on the 1995 Kodiyankulam riots. “I can assure you that this is not a film about Kodiyankulam riots or any riots in the southern districts. This is a work of fiction. It will have some elements of truth. But there is no need for film directors to portray the truth. There are newspapers and magazines to inform the masses about the truth. We don’t need film directors for that. We are reading and listening to a lot of stories. We take inspiration from those stories to create a film. That’s all. Karnan is one such film,” he had told Vikatan

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