The first look poster of A.R.Murugadoss directorial Sarkar, which was launched ahead of Thalapathy Vijay’s birthday, featured the star stylishly smoking a cigarette. The poster quickly created a controversy, with political leaders and media outlets expressing that a big star like Vijay shouldn’t smoke on screen and endorse this addictive habit among his fans. Vijay has smoked in his previous film Mersal too, for the character Vetri. The first look poster of his 2012 blockbuster Thuppakki also featured him smoking a cigar.
When actor-politician Sarath Kumar was asked to comment on Vijay’s smoking poster from Sarkar, he said that it was just a trivial matter and that there were far more important issues concerning the society, such as women’s safety. India is supposedly rated as the country most unsafe for women and Sarath said such topics must be debated and not a mere film poster.Interestingly, Sarath’s daughter Varu is sharing the screen space with Vijay in Sarkar. In a recent interview, Varu said that she would definitely enter politics in the near future and that she was waiting to see who wins the current political race which has prominent film industry players like Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth in the running.