The cadre of the ruling party in Tamil Nadu has been very busy in the past two days. AIADMK members have been working round the clock across districts to ensure a movie running to packed screens is edited to suit their needs.
Protests, vandalising properties, roughing people up, threatening filmmakers and a complete disregard for creative freedom: All this over AR Murugadoss and Vijay’s recent political drama, Sarkar.
Party cadres have been raising slogans against the screening of the film across the state. In places like Salem and Tirupur, party members tore down posters and vandalised properties demanding a ban on the film. This took place on Friday, even after the makers agreed to remove certain scenes from the film.
Protestors gathered together at Dharapuram in Tirupur, raising slogans and tearing down posters and flex banners. Shows were cancelled in the theatres following these protests.
On Thursday, protestors lead by AIADMK's MLA from Virugambakkam constituency VN Ravi tore down banners and wreaked havoc at Kasi theatre in Chennai.
In Kumbakonam, on Thursday, Director Murugadoss’ effigy was burnt near Gandhi Park Junction. Slogans were raised against the director and traffic was also affected briefly in the area.
In Madurai, the MLA from North Madurai VV Rajan Chellappa led a protest on Thursday morning in front of the Cinipriya multiplex complex, demanding the theatre authorities stop playing the film. He also shouted slogans demanding the arrest of Kalanidhi Maran, the Chairman of Sun TV Network.
AIADMK also led the protests in Coimbatore in front of the theatres screening Sarkar on Thursday. Ripping the banners and flex boards kept near a theatre opposite the Coimbatore junction railway station, the protestors demanded the movie not be screened till the controversial scenes are removed.
Following pressure from the ruling AIADMK government in Tamil Nadu, three movie scenes from AR Murugadoss’ Deepavali release Sarkar have been cut after state-wide protests from the ruling party. These scenes were deemed offensive to the ruling party and its late leader J Jayalalithaa.
Following the Thursday night drama over arrest rumours, director Murugadoss applied for anticipatory bail the following day. Having heard his plea, Madras High Court passed an interim order on Friday not to arrest Sarkar director AR Murugadoss until November 27.