National award-winning Tamil director Vetrimaaran’s latest comment’s have invited flak and the internet users’ reactions have seemingly turned it for the worst. The controversy sparked after the celebrated filmmaker claimed that Raja Raja Cholan wasn’t a Hindu king.
It all started at an event Vetrimaaran attended where he raised a few eyebrows when he said, “Raja Raja Chozlan wasn`t Hindu but they (BJP) are trying to steal our identity. They have already tried to saffronize Thiruvalluvar. We should never allow that. ”
Now, popular actor Kamal Haasan has supported the director’s statement which has opened floodgates for controversial debates by the netizens. The entire internet seems to be divided over the king’s identity.
Echoing similar sentiments, Haasan said, “There was no name called `Hindu religion` during Raja Raja Cholan`s period. There was Vainavam, Shivam, and Samanam, and it was the British who coined the term Hindu since they didn`t know how to refer to it collectively. It is similar to how they changed Thuthukudi into Tuticorin.”
To note, Vetimaaran’s remarks came just a day after the release of the film Ponniyin Selvan: 1 which is based on a fictional novel inspired by Raja Raja Cholan. However, Vetimaaran did find support from Haasan and BJP leader H Raja took a swipe at the director and stated that Raja Raja Chola was indeed a Hindu king.
He questioned Vetimaran – “I am not well versed with history like Vetrimaran, but let him point out two churches and mosques built by Raja Raja Cholan. He called himself Sivapadha Sekaran. Wasn`t he a Hindu then?”.
Nevertheless, this wasn’t the first time that Raja Raja Cholan’s identity has been questioned or he has made it to the headlines in Tamil Nadu.
Back in 2019, the film director P A Ranjith sparked controversy as he criticized the king.
He said at that time that the rule of the erstwhile king was a dark age for Dalits. He claimed, “Land had been forcibly taken away from them and many forms of caste oppression had begun during Raja Raja Cholan`s reign”, reported India.com.
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