Millennium Post

After 4 cuts in 'Sarkar', TN govt relents

Chennai: The issue over actor Vijay's Tamil film 'Sarkar' blew over Friday with its producers voluntarily cutting scenes, including an apparent reference to late chief minister J Jayalalithaa and criticism of welfare schemes initiated by her, and the AIADMK government welcoming it.

A day after the movie faced a backlash from AIADMK over the 'objectionable' scenes and reference, prompting the makers to agree for the cuts, Information and Publicity Minister Kadambur C Raju welcomed it and said the "issue has come to an end", and AIADMK would not stage any more protests against it.

His cabinet colleague R B Udhayakumar thanked the film producers for respecting "the sentiments of Tamil people" and urged movie-makers to exercise restraint in future.

Earlier in the day, Tamil 'Superstar' Rajinikanth threw his weight behind Vijay, questioning the AIADMK's rationale in protesting against a film certified by the censor board.

After several ministers objected to the reference to Jayalalithaa and some scenes, including the one showing mixers and grinders being burnt, AIADMK workers Thursday protested in front of several theatres screening the film, released on Deepavali day on November 6.

In a related legal development, the Madras High Court Friday restrained the police from arresting the film's director A R Murugadoss till November 27.

Passing interim orders on the anticipatory bail application filed by Murugadoss, who apprehended arrest in connection with some complaints lodged against him, Justice G K Ilanthiraiyan directed him to co-operate with the police and adjourned the matter to November 27.

Murugadoss's counsel informed the court that the objectionable portions had already been removed from the film.

According to Tamil film industry sources, "relevant scenes" in 'Sarkar' have been removed, and the theatres will now start screening the 'edited' version.

They added the cuts in the digital copies of the film for all theatres can be made online from Chennai itself.

The cuts effected were 'voluntary' with the approval of the Central Board of Film Certification, they said.

"While we don't know how many scenes have been deleted, we can say for sure that the objectionable scene on mixer and grinder being burnt has been removed," they said.

Also, the audio part mentioning the name Komalavalli, deemed to be a reference to Jayalalithaa, will be 'muted,' they said.

The removal of the scenes prompted Raju to declare that the "issue has come to an end" and that the AIADMK would not hold any more protests.

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