The makers of the Tamil film Irumbu Thirai, which revolves around an Indian Army officer Kathir (Vishal) who exposes criminals who steal citizens’ data and misuse it for profit, have released a previously censored scene that shows Vishal’s character criticising Aadhaar and the Digital India project.
In the scene released on YouTube on May 25, Kathir says that the system has been corrupted by Aadhaar and the Digital India project. Speaking of the villain, the hacker White Devil (Arjun), Kathir says, “He [White Devil] can print notes in Nashik and even tamper with the votes in elections if he likes. Until now he had only hacked our phones. Now he will hack our lives.”
Prior to Irumbu Thirai’s release on May 11, the film was mired in several controversies. A section of the film trade in Tamil Nadu, according to Tamil Nadu distributor Sridharan, was allegedly trying to sabotage the film’s prospects because Vishal as President of the Tamil Film Producers Council had antagonised members of the trade.
Additionally, a public interest litigation was filed in the Bombay High Court demanding a stay on the release of Irumbu Thirai since its trailer allegedly had certain dialogue criticising Aadhaar and Digital India. “Aadhaar card is issued only for the welfare of the general public which cannot be doubted in any event,” the petitioner had stated. The PIL was dismissed a day before the film’s release. The film has reportedly been a box-office success in Tamil Nadu.