Film director Pa Ranjith who is popularly for his movies such as Madras, Kabali and Kaala has been framed with charges over his remark that the rule of Chola emperor Raja Raja I (985-1014) showcased a dark period in the history of India. As per sources, in a video circulated online, the director claimed during reign of Chola emperor, the land was taken away from Dalits by intrigue. In the video he can be seen making these statements at a public meeting in Tiruppanandal near Kumbakonam on June 5, to celebrate the death anniversary of Umar Farooq. Umar Farooq founded the Neela Puligal Iyakkam who worked for Dalits. Ranjith is also the founder of Nilam Panpattu Maiyam. He pointed out the struggles for land by Dalits and Farooq’s role.

Ranjith also said that the large-scale oppression of Dalits was started only during the period. Also, the Devadasi system existed during his reign. Devadasi system is the religious practice where parents dedicated daughters to temples.

On Monday, HMK leader Ka Bala registered a complaint with the Thanjavur SP. In the complaint, he alleged that the director’s speech was made with an intent of creating divisions among castes and against the sovereignty of the country.

After the complaint, Tiruppanandal police arrested him under sections 153 (want only giving provocation with intent to cause riot) and 153 (A) (1) (a) (promoting enmity between different groups) of IPC.

Ranjith has been vocal about caste atrocities frequently. In the previous year, in an earlier interview to a leading daily, Ranjith said that he wanted to make films on forgotten heroes, narrating stories other than mainstream. His Bollywood film will be based on tribal leader Birsa Munda. The tribal leader who fought the British in pre-Independence India.

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