Syed Ali Mujtaba
Chennai: ‘Annapoorani’ a Tamil film starring Kollywood heartthrob, Nayanthara, is removed from the theaters and OTT platforms like Netflix, following uproar by the Hindutva group of hurting the religious feelings of the Hindus.
The film explores the titular character Annapoorani’s (essayed by Nayanthara) childhood dream of becoming the best chef in India. However, Annapoorani is a Hindu Brahmin girl who has to deal with non-vegetarian food if she wants to pursue her passion to become the best Chef. In the process, she alleged to have shown some disrespect to lord Ram, as she has reportedly said that the Hindu has also eaten meat during his 14 years of exile.
Further, Annapoorani is shown as a rebel from the Hindu traditional values and is alleged to have a friendship with a Muslim boy, a fellow chef who encourages her dream of cooking meat but leaves the choice of eating it to her discretion.
Well, these thoughts are enough to light the communal flames of the Hindutva folks who rose, up in arms complaining that the movie is hurting the religious sentiments of the Hindus. Police have filed complaints against eight persons, including the actor and the film’s producer, over allegations that certain scenes in the film have outraged the religious sentiments of the Hindus.
The complaints allege that the film made deliberate and malicious remarks about Lord Ram and has also promoted the forbidden act of ‘love jihad.’
Tamil Director Vetrimaaran who is known for creating politically relevant movies has lent his support to the film. Vetrimaaran in an interaction with the media, stated that there is no genuine uncensored creative freedom for films in India, including those released on the OTT platforms.
He argued that even after a film receives approval from the censor board, external pressures can lead to its removal from theaters and streaming services. He raised concerns about the credibility of the censor board’s decisions when external influences interfere with the release of a previously approved film.
‘Annapoorani’ was released on December 1, 2023, in theaters. After the religious uproar, the movie team apologized to the public and removed it from public viewing.
Annapoorani is not the first Tamil film to ‘offend’ Hindu or Brahmin sentiments. The history of Tamil cinema is littered with films that have anti-Brahmin and anti-Hindu overtones.
Now the Hindutva force’s strident campaign in India for Hindus, and Hindi- – Hindu – Hindustan, has changed the outlook of the people and they now refuse to entertain any contrarian viewpoint. In the process, the creativity of cinematic art is being sacrificed in the country,