The police in Tamil Nadu’s Thirupanandal town on Tuesday filed a case against filmmaker Pa Ranjith for allegedly inciting caste enmity by speaking ill of emperor Raja Raja Chola, The Hindu reported. The filmmaker, who is the founder of the Nilam Panpattu Maiyam, spoke about how the Dalit community had to struggle for land during the Chola emperor’s regime.
“During his reign, land was taken away from Dalits by conspiracy,” Ranjith was seen saying in a video, according to The New Indian Express. He also said that the Dalits were massively oppressed during the Chola rule, and that the Devadasi system of dedicating girls and women to temples was prevalent during the reign of Raja Raja Chola.
However, there is no clarity as to when and where Ranjith made the comments. According to The Hindu, the filmmaker said it during a meeting organised by the Blue Panthers Party earlier this month. Another report claimed that he made the remarks at an event to mark the death anniversary of Umar Farooq, the founder of Neela Puligal Iyakkam that works for the Dalit community.
Former Thanjavur District Secretary of Hindu Makkal Katchi Bala on Monday filed a complaint against Ranjith, following which the police registered a case. Bala alleged that Ranjith’s remarks were an attempt to create divisions among castes and was against the sovereignty of the country.
The filmmaker has been booked under Section 153, which deals with charges of deliberate provocation with intent to cause rioting in case a riot occurs, and Section 153 (A), which is against promoting conflict between different groups on the basis of religion, race, place of birth, and language, among other things, of the Indian Penal Code.