Though Mari Selvaraj had earlier said that the film is not based on a real life incident, the DMK has objected to the year since they were in power.

Dhanush K Raja in Karnan first look
Flix Controversy Tuesday, April 13, 2021 - 18:20

DMK’s Youth Wing leader Udhayanidhi Stalin, on Tuesday, tweeted that the producers and the director of the film Karnan have assured that they will change the alleged discrepancy in the timeline of the riots in a couple of days. Mari Selvaraj’s Karnan, starring Dhanush, speculated to be loosely based on the Kodiyankulam caste riots of 1995 sparked a controversy with several DMK sympathisers and members outraging over the fact that the year in the film was shown as 1997.

Appreciating the film, actor Dhanush, Director Mari Selvaraj and the producers, Udhayanidhi tweeted, “The film which has been based on the Kodiyankulam caste riots of 1995 when the AIADMK was in power is shown to take place in 1997 in the film. DMK was in power in 1997. I have pointed it out to the producers and the director. They have assured me that this error will be corrected in a couple of days.”

The film has been the centre of controversies since the production started. While several media reports stated that the film is loosely based on the Kodiyankulam caste riots of 1995, director Mari Selvaraj categorically denied it in an interview with Vikatan. “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 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. In the film, the village in which the story is set is named ‘Podiyankulam’ and there are scenes which show police atrocities on the villagers. The vague parallel between this portrayal and the violence that unfolded in Kodiyankulam, Tirunelveli in 1995 seemed to have sparked the controversy.

On August 31, 1995, around 600 police personnel entered the Kodiyankulam village and terrorised the residents living there. In broad daylight, they abused elders, harassed women and destroyed food grains and drinking water available for the villagers. The attack was a result of an ongoing tension between the caste-Hindus in the region Thevars and Pallars, who belong to the Devendra Kula Vellalar community, which is a part of the Scheduled Castes. 

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