AIADMK leaders and supporters are angry over Vijay's film 'Sarkar'.
Movie Sarkar, a political thriller starring actor Vijay, swept the box office and minted over Rs. 100 crores within two days of its opening. But the movie has run into trouble over some scenes that allegedly attacked late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa's welfare schemes.
The film that released on Tuesday, will be screened with a five-second video cut and audio muted at three points. On Friday, the makers have reportedly agreed to remove or mute controversial portions critical of Tamil Nadu's AIADMK government after two ministers levelled sedition charges against them. The Madras High Court restrained police from arresting director AR Murugadoss till November 27 after Mr Murugadoss sought anticipatory bail.
Tamil Nadu law minister CV Shanmugam on Thursday compared superstar Vijay's film 'Sarkar' to a "terrorist" activity. Jayalalithaa's fans claim scenes showing mixers and fans being set on fire are an obvious reference to her announcing freebies during election campaigns in 2011.
Here are the highlights of the Sarkar movie row:
High Court Directs Police Not To Arrest 'Sarkar' Director Till November 27
The Madras High Court restrained police from arresting director AR Murugadoss till November 27.
Justice GK Ilanthiraiyan passed the interim order on the anticipatory bail petition filed by Mr Murugadoss, who apprehended arrest over complaints filed in connection with the "objectionable" scenes.
The voluntary removal of certain controversial scenes relating to 'Sarkar' on prompted the ruling party to declare that the "issue has come to an end" and that it would not stage any more protests against the film.
Information and Publicity Minister Kadambur C Raju in a statement said, "We believe they (Sarkar team) have realised that they have hurt people's sentiments and have come forward to remove the scenes...it is welcome. So the issue has come to an end."
Director AR Murugadoss had tweeted on Thursday about the police banging at his door when he was not at home, has been granted protection from arrest by the Madras High Court, which made strong observations about "interference" from the government.
AIADMK workers protest outside theatres in Madurai, Chennai
The AIADMK workers yesterday vandalised posters of 'Sarkar' movie in Coimbatore. The vandalism by the AIADMK workers also took place in Puducherry on the same day.
AIADMK lawmaker VV Rajan Chellappa told ANI, "We will continue to protest outside theatres till the controversial scenes and dialogues aren't removed. We appeal to exhibitors not to show it."
Despite protests, film crosses Rs. 100 crore mark
Despite protests, the film is pulling in big crowds and has already crossed the Rs. 100-crore mark in two days, claim theatre owners.
A local cinema took to Twitter to express their opinion
Actor Rajinikanth Slams AIADMK Protests
Superstar Rajinikanth on Friday criticised the AIADMK for protesting against certain scenes in Sarkar, questioning the rationale behind attacking a film that has been cleared by the censor board.
The superstar said he "strongly condemned" the demands for deletion of some scenes.
"It is against the law to hold protests seeking removal of some scenes from a censor board certified film and trying to stall the screening and damaging the banners," Rajinikanth tweeted in Tamil. "I strongly condemn these."
Challenging Censor Board's Decision
Contrary to the row, DMK leader Pazha Karuppiah, who plays the antagonist's role in the film, wanted to know how scenes of a movie could be deleted after the Censor Board had cleared it.
Actress Khusbu Sunder took to Twitter expressing on the row surrounding the movie
Director AR Murugadoss seeks anticipatory bail
Director AR Murugadoss sought anticipatory bail and Sun Pictures has reportedly, agreed to remove and mute a few scenes.
Tamil Nadu minister RB Udhayakumar thanked the film producers for their assurance on removing controversial scenes. "AIADMK cannot accept scenes that demean Jayalalithaa. Freebies help to improve socio-economic status of the state. Even fans of actor Vijay will have freebies given by Jayalalithaa. The film industry should be more careful in future," Mr Udhayakumar said to NDTV.
"They said they will sit at the editing table tonight and edit the scenes. Following a letter (of approval) from the Censor Board, we will start screening the edited version tomorrow from the matinee show (2.30 PM)," M Subramaniam said.
"Further, the name of a woman character apparently referring to former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa would be "muted," he added.
The theatre owners' body had announced on Thursday that the edited version would be screened from Friday afternoon. M Subramaniam, president, West Zone Theatre Owners' Association, said they had spoken to Sun Pictures and the film's Tamil Nadu distributor, telling them "we cannot screen the movie with objectionable scenes."
Filmmaker AR Murugadoss was sent a legal notice by the Tamil Nadu health department, the producer of the film and Vijay for promoting smoking in the film. The posters, released as the first look, showed the actor smoking a cigar.
State minister Kadambur C Raju and Shanmugam had objected to scenes showing the state government giving away mixer grinders to voters and people burning pre-election freebies, besides a number of dialogues critical of the government.
Furthermore, the AIADMK along with senior party leaders also supported both the lawmakers, demanding that the contentious scenes be deleted from the movie.
AIADMK leaders and workers on Thursday protested outside a multiplex in Madurai against the film. "We will continue to protest outside theatres till the controversial scenes and dialogues are removed," said AIADMK lawmaker, Rajan Chellappa.
Tamil Nadu law minister CV Shanmugam had compared superstar Vijay's film 'Sarkar' to a "terrorist" activity. Condemning the film, Mr Shanmugam said, "Through this movie, an attempt has been made to instigate violence in society. It is not less than a terrorist instigating people for violence."
He had threatened to "take action against the actor and the team" and alleged that the film "attempts to pull down a democratically elected government."