NEW DELHI, Oct 20: A day after Vijay Sethupathi dropped out from playing the lead role in the film Muralitharan 800, a biopic on the Sri Lankan spinner and the world’s highest wicket taker Muttiah Muralitharan, a social media user issued a rape threat to his daughter stating the actor would then experience the misery of Eelam Tamils.
As condemnation poured in against the unknown rape threat issuer, the Tamil Nadu Police taking cognisance of the issue has written to Twitter India seeking more details about the account user.
The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam Member of Parliament Kanimozhi has demanded strict action against the social media user who circulated the rape threat to Sethupathi’s daughter. In a tweet message, she wrote, “The perverse intimidation of Vijay Sethupathi’s #daughter is not only barbaric but extremely dangerous to the very fabric of our society. Making women and children the soft targets is a cowardly act. The Police should take stern action against the perpetrator.”
While the makers unveiled the first look of the film last week, Sethupathi has been at the receiving end for the past few days as many social media users have been attacking the actor for taking up such a film project. He has faced several backlashes and was, warned that he would have to face the wrath of India’s Tamils.
Both the film and the actor are in the eye of a storm since Sethupathi chose to do the biopic. Many netizens have come in support of the actor and have slammed the shameful remarks against the two times Film Fare South Awardee Tamil Nadu star.
A Sri Lankan cricketer of Tamil origin, Muralitharan, who retired from Test cricket in 2010 after achieving record 800 test wickets, has often been criticised for “betraying fellow Tamils” in his country during a civil war that ended in 2009.
Sethupathi tweeted a letter sent by Muralitharan in Tamil asking the actor to drop out of the project. “I don’t want one of the finest actors in Tamil Nadu to face any kind of trouble, hence I request him to drop out of the project. There should be no obstacles for Sethupathi in the future because of this movie.” Sethupathi reverted alongside the image of the letter, “Thank you and goodbye” an implication that he will no more act in the movie.
Muralitharan’s letter said he had never supported the killing of innocent lives and he had done more for Eelam Tamils than for his own people, the hill country Tamils. He said his statement in 2019 where he said that 2009 was his best year was taken out of context to relate it to the Tamil Genocide that took place during that year.
Muralitharan added in the letter that he hoped a new lead role player would be announced soon. “I accepted this biopic because I thought the movie will inspire and provide confidence in aspiring young cricketers.”
Sri Lankan Tamils are of two ancestries. The Eelam Tamils who are the descendants of the Tamils from the Old Jaffna Kingdom (Northern Sri Lanka) and the Hill country Tamils the Indian-Tamil descendants of the bonded labours who migrated to Sri Lanka during the 19th century to work in tea plantations.
Several Tamil actors also came out in support of Muralitharan and Sethupathi.
Radikaa Sarathkumar tweeted, #muthaiyamuralitharan biopic &asking @VijaySethuOffl not to act😡do these people hav no work?? why not ask @SunRisers why he is the head coach, team belongs to a Tamilian with political affiliations?VSP is an actor, and do not curb an actor. VSP&cricket both don’t warrant nonsense.
Muralitharan currently is in the UAE as the bowling coach of Sunrisers’ Hyderabad team in the Indian Premier League (IPL).