Dhanush starrer ‘Asuran’ spurs PMK, AIADMK to revive land grab charges against DMK

Asuran is based on a novel of Sahitya Akademi award winning author Poomani and is centred on the Dalit quest for land.
MK Stalin’s DMK has ben accused by the PMK and the ruling AIADMK of encroaching land assigned for the Dalits during the British era.(PTI)
MK Stalin’s DMK has ben accused by the PMK and the ruling AIADMK of encroaching land assigned for the Dalits during the British era.(PTI)
Published on Oct 20, 2019 03:30 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Channai | By MC Rajan

A film running to packed cinemas across Tamil Nadu has become a catalyst in a fight between the ruling AIADMK’s ally Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) and the opposition DMK ahead of the bypolls for two assembly seats with the PMK reviving land grab charges.

The Dhanush starrer ‘Asuran’ is based on a novel of Sahitya Akademi award winning author Poomani,and has received all round appreciation. DMK chief MK Stalin too was effusive in his praise of the film centred on the Dalit quest for land, as being bold in confronting entrenched caste hegemony.

But PMK founder S Ramadoss saw in it an opportunity to attack the DMK and accused it of encroaching land assigned for the Dalits during the British era.

Debunking the PMK’s charge that the office of DMK party paper ‘Murasoli’ stands on ‘Panchami Land’, land assigned by the British to Dalits for their empowerment, Stalin on Sunday challenged Ramadoss and his son Anbumani to quit politics if they were proved wrong.

Coming to the aid of the PMK, the AIADMK too accused the DMK of being notorious for land grabbing during its previous tenure (2006-2011).

Stalin who watched the movie at Thoothukudi took to Twitter to express his admiration.

“Asuran is not a mere film, it is a lesson. Centred on reclaiming Panchami Land, it is a bold critique of casteist malice, questioning entrenched caste hegemony. The cast have lived it,” he had tweeted.

Panchami lands are lands assigned by the British to Dalits in 1892 and these could neither be sold nor re-classified. In the movie, the hero is making a valiant fight to protect his land from a villain of the dominant caste trying to appropriate it.

No sooner Stalin tweeted, Ramadoss responded asking Stalin to walk the talk and handover the land on which ‘Murasoli’ functions to those it belongs to.

“Acknowledging the lesson that Asuran has taught, hope DMK president Stalin will hand over the land which was encroached upon for Murasoli to the people who are entitled to it,” the PMK leader tweeted.

Stalin then released a title deed obtained in 1985 and made it clear that he was prepared to take political sanyas if Ramadoss could prove it otherwise. But Ramadoss stuck to his guns and questioned why the mother documents have not been released but only a title deed of recent vintage.

As the back and forth continued, Stalin reiterated that he was ready to release the mother documents and particulars of the private owners from whom the land was purchased, and asked whether the father son duo of the PMK would accept his challenge.

Tamil Nadu Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar recalled the plethora of land grabbing cases against DMK functionaries across the state during the previous DMK regime and said the villain of the movie reminds of Stalin.

“The character ‘Vadakooran’ in Asuran only reminds of Stalin. He watched the movie like a zamindar,” he told the media.

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Saturday, October 23, 2021