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Friday, December 9, 2022

Vetrimaaran: A certified Dravidian stockist regurgitating Dravidian stockist BS

There is no shortage for virtue-signallers in Kollywood who function as propagandists for the DMK.

There is actor Suriya Sivakumar who became vocal in the lead up to the 2021 Assembly Elections, parrotting the DMK’s rhetoric on NEET, National Education Policy and other issues.

His wife Jyothika took to virtue-signalling when she said her heart weeps on seeing money being spent on maintaining temples instead of hospitals.

Then came alleged ‘comedian’ Soori who while showering praises for Suriya, said that educating one child is far nobler than building temples or giving money for Annadanam (food served for free at temples).

Needless to mention is Kamal Haasan who has been in this pseudo-rationalism virtue-signalling trade for a long time.

Then there are blatantly anti-Hindu demagogues like Pa. Ranjith, Ameer Sultan and Karu Pazhaniappan, spewing venom about Hinduism whenever there is a mike in front of them.

The latest to get added to this list is the acclaimed film director Vetrimaaran. He is known for blockbuster films like Visaranai, Aadukalam, Vada Chennai, Asuran, to name a few.

While the man may be good at his craft, he is your typical Dravidian Stockist who seeks to separate Hindu identity from Tamil culture. This separation of Hindu identity from Tamil culture to form a distinct ‘Dravidian’ identity has always been the aim of external evangelical forces.

Vetrimaaran: An agmark Dravidian stockist

Not many may know but Vetrimaaran hails from a family that owes its allegiance to the DMK. His maternal uncle Ela. Pugazhendi was a 3 time DMK MLA from Cuddalore. It was Pugazhendi who named him Vetrimaaran.

Pugazhendhi’s father Ere. Elamvazhuthi was also a DMK MLA from Cuddalore and had worked closely with rabid anti-Hindu demagogue E.V. Ramasamy Naicker (known as Periyar by his followers) and also with CN Annadurai and Karunanidhi.

So, the anti-Hindu DNA runs in the family.

Vetrimaaran: A regurgitator of Dravidian stockist BS

It isn’t just his family’s inclination to the DMK that makes Vetrimaaran a Dravidian Stockist. Vetrimaaran has acted as a propaganda vehicle for the DMK both on and off screen.

Like this one time, he fanned the linguistic chauvinism lit by DMK MP Kanimozhi who in 2020 claimed that she was questioned and ridiculed by CRPF personnel at Chennai airport for not knowing Hindi.

Just days after Kanimozhi’s claims, Vetrimaaran alleged in an interview that he was insulted by the immigration officials at Delhi Airport back in 2011 when he was returning from Canada.

Apparently, the immigration official also told him “You people are like this…You Tamils, Kashmiris are only breaking this country.”.

That he chose to casually pass of this as a matter of fact trying to draw an equivalence between Tamils and Kashmiris says a lot about his intentions.

He would have done a similar thing in his film Visaaranai where he casually superimposes Tamil identity with LTTE in a scene.

A Tamil Muslim man named Afzal is interrogoated by an Andhra Pradesh police officer who asks “Are you LTTE?”

The beauty in these two instances is that the extrapolations and superimpositions about Tamilians comes from the antagonists of his stories – the immigration official from his alleged real life incident and the police official in the reel life Visaranai.

When the ‘Hindi Theriyathu Poda’ t-shirt campaign was kicked off and given patronage by Kanimozhi and Udhayanidhi Stalin, he was also one of the film personalities to join the brigade.

Even in his films he has peddled the Dravidian Stockist propaganda.

In the critically acclaimed blockbuster Asuran, there is a scene where Sivasaami (played by Dhanush) is made to fall at the feet of villagers by members of the dominant caste. Sivasaami is shown trying to reach the feet of a man clad in black-shirt who asks him not to, indicating that the blackshirt man is a member of the Dravida Kazhagam (DK) started by E.V. Ramasamy Naicker.

The village where dominant caste members live is named (Vadakkoor – northern village) and the place where Dalits live is named (Thekkoor – southern village).

This is the typical dichotomy drawn by Dravidian Stockists to peddle their separatist victimhood propaganda.

North : Oppressors :: South : Oppressed

Vadakku Vaazhgiradhu, Therku Theigiradhu (North is flourishing, South is perishing)”, as stated by DMK founder Annadurai.

In the same film, there is a scene where Sivasami’s family along with many others, are burned alive in their huts similar to the horrific Keezhvenmani massacre. But there is no subtle reference to the original perpetrators of the crime, the apathy of the then DMK government or to E.V. Ramasamy Naicker who refused to condemn the incident and instead justified the crime saying, “Labourers should simply accept the wages offered to them by the land-owners instead of demanding more than what they deserve”.

Vada Chennai which was released in 2018, had heavy anti-development propaganda when the DMK was upping the ante against Chennai-Salem Expressway, Sagarmala, Indian Neutrino Observatory and other projects.

Vetrimaaran: A coward of the first order?

Vetrimaaran in his recent controversial speech stated that art is inherently political and that it was very important to politicize cinema.

Yes, cinema is political and it is through cinema that the Dravidian political parties reaped benefits.

It is important that cinema apart from providing entertainment also educates and enlighten people about things that they should know about.

In that light, will Vetrimaaran have the courage to take a film on the rotten state of affairs in Tamil Nadu where corruption is the order of the day?

Will Vetrimaaran have the guts and the gumption to take a film on the Maanjolai Massacre that happened under Karunanidhi’s watch in which 17 innocent Dalit tea estate workers including two women and a two-year-old child were killed for demanding a wage increase of ₹30?

Will Vetrimaaran have the guts and the gumption to take a film on the horrific murder of Leelavathi, a Communist Party councillor in Madurai who was hacked to death in broad daylight by DMK goons?

Will Vetrimaaran have the guts and the gumption to talk about the casteist venom spewed by DMK leaders?

If he doesn’t even make an attempt to do any of the above, then there is no bigger coward of the first order like him.

Vetrimaaran: A hypocrite of the first order?

Vetrimaaran also said that art is for people and that it should reflect the society which we live in. He talked about ‘erasure of identities’.

“We should handle art responsibly. If we don’t, our identities will be taken from us. Constantly our identities are being snatched away.”, he said.

Vetrimaaran should have thought twice before making this statement.

In his film Vada Chennai, he had portrayed people of (Meenavar) fishermen community of north Chennai as if they were involved only in piracy, drugs, goondaism and crime. He had shown the women folk as lacking decency and using cuss words.

The Meenavar community which includes communities like Pattanavar, Paravars and Sembadavars have a glorious history in seafaring. The Pattanavars are maritime community densely populated in Chennai, Kanchipuram, Cuddalore, Vizhupuram and Nagapattinam districts of Tamil Nadu. They have traditionally been involved in fishing, shipment, navy, and trade. They had served as naval force under various Tamil kings. According to historian Hermann Kulke, the Pattanavars were instrumental in in the organization and exploits of Chozha Navy.

Yet, Vetrimaaran chose to snatch away this glorious history and identity of Meenavars and showed them as uncouth people.

Vetrimaaran: A cog in the Breaking India machinery

Speaking at the 26th edition of International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) held at Thiruvananthapuram in March 2022, Vetrimaaran said “Today’s world is divided. Most of us feel that you have to choose – you are either left or right. There is no middle. If you say that you are middle then you are right. So, it is either left of right. So, there is a time where you have to choose.”

The left has always built careers by exploiting linguistic, religious, and caste faultlines. This statement of Vetrimaaran shows where he belongs and what his agenda is. Through his movies and statements he makes it clear that his agenda is to peddle political propaganda favourable to the DMK and the left.

Vetrimaaran: A filtered bigoted illiterate?

In his recent controversial speech Vetrimaaran said that his friend had done a meticulous study on how literature and cinema were in ‘their’ hands (Brahmins), and how the Dravidian movement took over cinema from them.

Well here are some facts:

  • KB Sundarambal who lives in the hearts of millions of Tamils as Avvaiyaar was a Gounder.
  • MK Thiyagaraja Bhagavathar, the first superstar of Tamil cinema belonged to the Aasaari/Aachari (goldsmiths) community
  • The iconic Sivaji Ganesan who ruled the Tamil film industry for decades and helped us visualize Lord Siva, Karnan, Veerapandiya Kattabomman and VO Chidambaram Pillai was a Thevar.
  • Then lady superstar Saroja Devi belonged to a Vokkaliga family.
  • Accclaimed director Bhimsingh who gave hits like Pasamalar, Kalathur Kannamma, Paalum Pazhamum was a Bondil Rajput (a migrated community who settled in then Madras Presidency from Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh).
  • Superstar Rajinikanth (originally Sivaji Rao Gaewad) who still rules the Tamil film industry as an actor belongs to a Marathi Kunbi family.

And the list is endless which busts the Brahmin – non-Brahmin narrative peddled by Vetrimaaran who has shown himself to be the typical Dravidian Stockist bigot.

Vetrimaaran also took to expose his cultural illiteracy with his comments on Rajaraja Chozhan “being appropriated as a Hindu”.

The Chozha rulers – Rajaraja Chozha, Rajendra Chozha I, Rajadhiraja I, Rajendra Chozha II, Virarajendra Choza – aestablished Vedic schools all across the then Tamil land. According to the Karandai copper plates, Rajendra Chola I himself studied the Vedas apart from learning horseriding and military skills.

To those who say Cholas are Saivites and not “Hindus”, well the Chozhas not just built and patronaged Sivan temples but also Perumal (Lord Vishnu) temples.

Nanda Chozha built the Azhagiya Manavalan Perumal temple at Uraiyur near Trichy. Chozha kings namely Dharmavarcholan and Killivalavan developed the Srirangam Renganathaswamy Temple.

Alas, the Chozhas didn’t built any mosque or church. So, Chozhas like Thiruvalluvar will be known as Hindu kings who strengthened Hindu spirituality and Tamil culture.

To the argument that there was no Hinduism back then and there existed various sects like Saivism, Vaishnavism, Shaktham, Ganapathyam and Kaumaram, well even Tamil Nadu didn’t exist back then. The region was split as Chera Nadu, Chozha Nadu and Pandiya Nadu. The name Tamil Nadu was not there earlier. Does that mean Tamil people and culture did not exist?

Today, a Hindu who goes to a temple prays to Vinayagar, Murugan, Siva, Sakthi, Vishnu, and every 33 crore Gods present in the Hindu pantheon. He/she prays at Ekambaranathar temple and also prays at Ulagalanda Perumal temple in Kanchipuram. They go to Uchipillayar Koil in Trichy and also go to Srirangam Ranganathar temple. He visits Tirupati and also prays at Kalahasthi. He goes to Palani praying to Lord Murugan and also carries his irumudi for Ayyappa at Sabarimala.

As a fellow director from Tamil film industry says, the pseudo-rationalists are more dangerous and vicious who are hell bent on breaking the unity of this country.

So, Mr. Vetrimaaran, please spare us you regurgitated Dravidian Stockists BS.

(The story was published on thecommunemag.com on October 5, 2022 and has been reproduced here with consent.)

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