After a government-commissioned advertisement about Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami left moviegoers in the state in peals of laughter, it has been pulled off.
Speaking to the media on Wednesday, Minister of Fisheries D Jayakumar said, “We brought it to the Chief Minister’s attention and an order to remove it has been given. If you go to theatres now, you won’t see it,” he said.
The ad, which was what moviegoers were greeted with after a 48-day strike by the Tamil Film Producers' Council, had become the subject of a host of memes.
In the advertisement, a young woman in a wheelchair comes to a temple for an 'archanai' as she has got a job. Another woman excitedly congratulates her and says this paves way for other disabled candidates to get jobs. A priest then asks in whose name the 'archanai' has to be done. The man with the disabled woman then gives her name (Selvi) and details to the priest, and just when the priest turns away to begin the puja, the woman calls out to him.
"The archanai is not in my name,” she says. “Please do it in sami’s (god’s) name,” Selvi adds.
When the priest asks her which sami, the woman delivers the punchline for the unintended joke.
“Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami,” she says.
“He is the sami that gave me a job,” the woman in the ad says, even as the crowd – and everyone who has watched the video since – stares in disbelief.
The video of the advertisement then went viral on social media, making the Chief Minister the butt of jokes.
At a time when Edappadi Palaniswami has been doing everything to appropriate former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s legacy, the advertisement had the opposite effect.