'Jai Bhim,' a social commentary on Tamil Nadu's caste dynamics, became the buzz of the town. It is based on a case handled by Justice K Chandru, a former Madras High Court judge, in 1993. The now-controversial film depicts the state's abuses against backward people. The tale is based on true events that occurred in 1993 and the legal battle that ensued. Rajakannu, a member of the Irular tribe, is wrongfully accused of theft, detained, and severely assaulted before dying in police custody in Jai Bhim. The police attempt to conceal the facts, prompting his wife, Sengeni, to seek justice with the help of attorney Chandru. The film explores the heinous treatment of members of the community, who are frequently falsely accused by the police, tortured, and lack even the most basic government documents.
The controversies that were raised:
The scene in which actor Prakash Raj's character, a cop, slaps a man for 'speaking in Hindi' sparked the initial uproar. Raj requests that the guy speaks in Tamil. On social media, some people criticised the scene for promoting an "anti-Hindi" agenda. However, other Twitter users claimed that Prakash Raj's character slapped the person speaking in Hindi despite knowing Tamil because the latter was using Hindi to avoid answering difficult questions. Although the controversy on this scene isn’t as huge as the other caste controversies, this attracted a lot of attention from the audience.
The 'Vanniyar,' a backward minority in Northern Tamil Nadu, condemned it for portraying their tribe in a negative manner. According to the Hindustan Times, Vanniyar Sangam has issued a notification to the film's producers and Amazon Prime, demanding damages of Rs. 5 crores within seven days. The issue occurred as a result of the officer's surname. Gurumurthy is the name of the sub-inspector in the film. According to the notice, it is linked to senior Vanniyar leader J Guru, harming the community's reputation. This conflict, however, took an unpleasant turn. The Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK), a Vanniyar political organisation, stormed a theatre in Tamil Nadu's Mayiladuthirai area to disrupt the screening. The President of Vanniyar Sangham issued a legal notice to the filmmakers to tender an unconditional apology and remove defamatory scenes. The notice also demanded Rs. 5 crores as compensation for the defamation.
In addition to this, the PMK leader strongly criticised the lead actor ‘Suriya’ for hurting people’s sentiments. He clarified that a film was not a documentary and agreed with the leader's assertion that no one had been given the authority to offend any community under the guise of artistic freedom. On November 15, the South Indian Film Chamber of Commerce requested that the PMK leader desist from criticising Suriya's film Jai Bhim. Suriya had agreed to remove a sign from the picture, according to Katragadda Prasad, the Chamber's president, in a letter to the PMK leader. TJ Gnanavel, the director of Jai Bhim, has joined in on the controversy surrounding the film that has upset Vanniyars, indicating that he, as the filmmaker, has responsibility for the controversy and that it is unreasonable to require actor Suriya to bear responsibility for it. Gnanavel went on to say that he had no idea that an image on a calendar in the background could be hinting to a community, and that the calendar simply indicated 1995.
Ten days after the legal notice was issued, the President of Vanniyar Sangam has filed a defamation complaint against the film's creators for allegedly insulting the Vanniyars by wrongly depicting their group. The complaint has been filed to take cognizance of the accused and bring him to justice for offences under the Indian Penal Code's Sections 153 (Wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot), 153A(1) (Promoting enmity between different groups on religious grounds, etc.), 499 (Defamation), 500 (Punishment for defamation), 503 (Criminal intimidation), 504 (Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace),