A sedition case has been registered against Seeman for hoisting a flag in Salem, and reportedly for controversial statements made by him.

Seeman hoisting Moovendar flag
news Politics Wednesday, November 03, 2021 - 20:19

Tamil Nadu police has registered a case of sedition against actor, director, and Naam Thamizhar Katchi (NTK) chief Seeman. A sedition case has been registered against Seeman for hoisting a flag in Salem’s Ammapettai. According to reports, the flag had the emblem of the Moovendars printed on it. Moovendars are the three royal dynasties of Tamil Nadu. The Cheras, Cholas and Pandyas are collectively referred to as Moovendar.

According to police, Seeman hoisted the Moovendar emblem as a separate flag of Tamil Nadu on November 1, which was celebrated as Tamil Nadu dDay between 2019 and this year, at an NTK party programme in a marriage hall at Ammapettai in Salem district. He also reportedly made several controversial remarks (TNM was unable to locate a video of that event around which the case is filed) according to the police. The flag was hoisted to protest against the DMK government’s recent announcement that Tamil Nadu Day would be celebrated on July 18 and not November 1 henceforth.

The police registered a case against Seeman after the Ammapettai village officer, Raja, lodged a complaint against him. A case has been registered under Sections 124A (sedition), 143 (unlawful assembly), 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on the basis of religion, race, etc and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony), 269 (negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) and 505 (1) (c) (with intention to incite or which is likely to incite any class or community of persons to commit any offense against any other class or community) of the Indian Penal Code.

November 1 was celebrated as Tamil Nadu Day from 2019 till last year. However, on October 30, 2021, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin announced that Tamil Nadu Day would henceforth be celebrated on July 18 and not November 1. While November 1, 1956 was the day Madras State was divided on linguistic lines to form Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, and Madras; on July 18, 1967, the Madras State was renamed as Tamil Nadu.

Several political parties of Tamil Nadu, including AMMK, Kamal Haasan's MNM, and NTK have objected to the government's decision. In a press release published earlier, Seeman had asked the DMK government to “withdraw the declaration of July 18 as Tamil Nadu Day and declare November 1 as Tamil Nadu Day.”

“Otherwise, when we (Naam Thamizhar Katchi) become the ruling party, we will declare the first day of November as Tamil Nadu Day and celebrate it on behalf of the government as a great festival,” Seeman had said.

He has also been batting for a separate Tamil Nadu flag for a while. At a recent press meet Seeman justified the need for a separate state flag and said, "When Kerala dumped nuclear waste in and around Mysuru, Chamarajanagar and Kodagu districts, Karnataka protested against it. They did not protest with Congress flag or BJP flag, but with the flag of Karnataka state."

Mainstream political parties, including the BJP and AIADMK have also opposed the change of date. The AIADMK protested against the change in Tamil Nadu day celebrations stating that the DMK government’s move was purely out of political vendetta.