'Madras Cafe is going to rub salt into wounds'
The Naam Tamilar (I am Tamil) party has opposed the screening of the John Abraham starrer, Madras Cafe, which releases on Friday, August 23.
Naam Tamilar leader Seeman -- interestingly, a former film director, spoke to Rediff.com's A Ganesh Nadar.
Why are you opposing Madras Cafe?
They are derisive about the freedom struggle of the Tamils in Sri Lanka.
The Rajiv Gandhi assassination is also shown with false details.
They call the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) evil, but don’t mention the destruction of the Tamil race in Lanka.
Image: John Abraham in Madras Cafe, inset Seeman
'In the movie, Rajiv Gandhi is portrayed as the epitome of goodness'
What do you think is the reason for this?
It is a Congress ploy to get itself a good certificate before the Commonwealth meet of nations (scheduled to be held in Colombo).
In the movie, Rajiv Gandhi is portrayed as the epitome of goodness and one who wants peace while (slain LTTE leader Vellupillai) Prabhakaran is shown as a bad man who wants war.
The Commonwealth meeting in Sri Lanka?
We are opposing that too. There are enough countries in the Commonwealth to host the meet.
Why are they having it in a country that has the worst record on human rights?
They (Sri Lanka) have trampled upon the rights of an entire race and tried to wipe them out, and you are having a meeting there. It is wrong.
Image: Sanjay Gurbaxani (centre) plays Rajiv Gandhi in Madras Cafe
'Rajiv Gandhi might have been very peaceful, but the IPKF (Indian Peace Keeping Force) which he sent killed 20,000 Tamils there'
You don’t agree that Rajiv Gandhi is a peaceful man?
He might have been very peaceful, but the IPKF (Indian Peace Keeping Force) which he sent killed 20,000 Tamils there.
What about the Sinhala community?
There is no mention about Sinhalas in the entire movie.
They don’t even mention that a race called the Sinhalas lives in that country.
They just say Tamils and bad Tamils at that.
As if all Tamils are evil.
Image: John Abraham and Nargis Fakhri in Madras Cafe
'Madras Cafe is all about portraying Tamils as evil, and Malayalis as good people'
Why do you think the filmmakers did this?
They did this because they have no knowledge about what actually happened there.
People are just recovering from the wounds of war and this movie is going to rub salt into their wounds.
Why make a movie on a topic you know nothing about?
Why are you making money from people’s sorrow, people’s wounds?
You say the movie is against Tamils.
Yes! That’s what the movie is all about. To portray Tamils as evil, and Malayalis as good people.
Every RAW officer in the movie is a Malayali and every bad man is a Tamil.
That hero John Abraham leaves for his mission from Cochin (snorts derisively).
So you blame the government for it?
Yes! They have tied my hands and feet together and handed over a sword to my enemy.
He is allowed to make any movie and show me in a bad light.
Why can’t you give me the same privilege?
Will you allow me to make a movie showing the actual plight of the Tamils?
Image: John Abraham in Madras Cafe
'I have already made the movie on the actual plight of the Tamils but it was banned'
You want to make a movie?
I have already made the movie. They refused to see it, give it a certificate, they just banned it.
They did not allow me to screen it anywhere in the world. It was called Thenkoodu (Bees’ Nest).
Tell me the story line.
It’s about a poor man who needs medical help and comes to Tamil Nadu for it. The problems he faces here. That’s what the movie was about.
The man was a Tiger?
Yes! He belonged to the LTTE. Hope you are satisfied? Nice talking to you.
Image: John Abraham in Madras Cafe