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Noted Tamil director Pa Ranjith booked for comments against Chola king

Hindu Makkal Katchi - a Hindu nationalist party active in Tamil Nadu - had filed the complaint against Ranjith.

india Updated: Jun 12, 2019 12:03 IST
M Manikandan
M Manikandan
Hindustan Times, Chennai
Neelam Cultural Center,Pa Ranjith,Thanjavur police
Ranjith, during a public event in Thanjavur last week, had said that Raja Raja Chola had taken over lands owned by Dalits in the Cauvery-delta-region and given it away to temples.(HT Photo)

Noted Tamil filmmaker and founder of Neelam Cultural Center Pa Ranjith was booked by Thanjavur police on Tuesday for making ‘adverse’ comments against Chola dynasty King, Raja Raja Chola. His comments could “create religious and caste tussles as well as lead to riots” said TN police sources.

Hindu Makkal Katchi - a Hindu nationalist party active in Tamil Nadu - had filed the complaint against Ranjith.

Ranjith, during a public event in Thanjavur last week, had said that Raja Raja Chola had taken over lands owned by Dalits in the Cauvery-delta-region and given it away to temples.

Cauvery-delta-region refers to the area under the 3 districts of Thanjavur, Thiruvarur and Nagapattinam and was once part of the Chola kingdom.

“Many are glorifying Raja Raja Cholan. But, I am not in a position to do the same. Raja Raja has plucked lands of mine (a reference to his Dalit community). He was the one who literally pushed 400 women into prostitution,” Ranjith claimed. The Tamil director also demanded that the temples return the lands given by the Chola king to their rightful owners, Dalits.

Raja Raja Chola, ruled between 985AD to 1014 AD, is considered one of the greatest Kings who ruled over not just large parts of India but also Sri Lanka, Maldives and parts of East Asia.

Police said that the case was registered on a complaint by “a team of Hindu Makkal Katchi workers alleging that the filmmaker had intentionally passed objectionable comments against the Chola emperor.”

Ranjith had recently directed Tamil superstar actor and aspiring politician Rajinikanth’s two blockbuster films Kabaali and Kalaa.

Ranjith’s controversial speech has been slammed on social networks. The BJP national secretary H Raja has also criticised Ranjith for his remarks.

First Published: Jun 12, 2019 12:03 IST