Journalist Jawahar Nadar says that the movie intends to hurt his father’s and the Nadar community’s image due to Rajinikanth’s ‘ulterior’ motives.

Son of Dharavis Nadar godfather slams Kaala sends legal notice to Rajinikanth
Flix Cinema Sunday, June 03, 2018 - 13:11

Days ahead of the release of Rajinikanth’s much-awaited movie Kaala, the journalist son of a Mumbai-based godfather has slapped a legal notice on the superstar. The godfather, Thiraviam Nadar, was known to have a protective hand over Tamilians in the low-income households of Dharavi.

Jawahar Nadar, son of Thiraviam Nadar, says that his father, who went by the monikers ‘Gudwala Seth’ and ‘Kaala Seth’ in Dharavi during his heydays, was the inspiration behind director Pa. Ranjith’s character Karikaalan, played by Rajinikanth in the upcoming movie. He alleges that the movie intends to harm the reputation of both his father and the Nadar community. Jawahar, however, accepts that he has not seen the movie yet, but says that he wants to ensure that his father’s reputation is unharmed.

In the legal notice, which seeks Rs. 101 Crore in damages, Jawahar’s lawyer has said that Rajinikanth has floated political outfit to ‘curtail rights of native Dravidians and backward communities’. It states that while Nadars are very progressive, they are being oppressed by people who have allegiance to Rajinikanth. The legal notice has also been referred to National OBC Commission for “deliberately hurting OBC icons”.

Speaking to TNM, Jawahar says, “It is not about the money. It is about what is right. If the movie portrays my father positively, then we must get credit for it. If the movie defames my father then they should apologise for it and pay for it.” 

Known among Tamilians in Dharavi as ‘Annachi’, Jawahar says that his father came to Mumbai looking for menial jobs in 1957. But as he worked his way up in life, he also became a ‘Godfather’ to people since he was very helpful. He was known as ‘Gudwala Seth’ due to his jaggery business, and also as ‘Kaala Seth’, according to Jawahar. “His command and stature helped people from the harassment and torture of the police and other goons,” the legal notice says. Thiraviam Nadar died in 2003, and was said to be close to Haji Mastan and Varadaraja Mudaliar. 

In the centre: Thiraviam Nadar. Image: Jawahar Nadar. 

The notice says that he was “never involved in any work against the law” and that he “lived a dignified life”, which his son believes might not be represented properly in the movie. 

Jawahar, who is a senior journalist in Mumbai, says that his US-based sister had reached out to Pa. Ranjith, but there was no proper response. He adds that the money is not for him, but it can be given to the people of Dharavi to develop the area. "The film is based on Dharavi, as the tag like says King of Dharavi. Have they done anything for the area?" Jawahar asks. 

Directed by Pa Ranjith, Kaala will release on June 7. Rajinikanth is said to be playing a slumlord-gangster who fights for oppressed Tamil people in Mumbai. Ranjith's last film, also with Rajinikanth, saw the superstar playing a don in Malaysia. Both films are seen to be representative of Ranjith’s Ambedkarite politics. Kaala also has Nana Patekar, Eshwari, Samuthirakani, and Huma Querishi in important roles.

Also read: Ambedkar, Akilan and Hip-Hop: The political subtext of 'Kaala' teaser explained

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