This week, actor-producer Ram Charan is not the only one in Tollywood with a mob to pacify. While he is busy pacifying a veritable crowd claiming to be the descendants of freedom fighter Alluri Seetharam Raju and seeking compensation over the making of Sye Raa, director Harish Shankar seems to have attracted the ire of a specific caste-based group from the Telugu speaking states.
Several members of the Telugu Boya Valmiki community have reportedly taken offence at the usage of the name Valmiki for his upcoming crime thriller. Representatives of the Valmiki reservation Poratta Samithi have filed a case with the Guntur Police and they are threatening to organise a large-scale protest if the movie's name is not changed.
Valmiki is the remake of the 2014 Tamil hit Jigarthanda, starring Bobby Simha and Siddharth in the main roles. Varun Tej and Atharvaa are essaying the same roles in Telugu and the director has adapted the script to suit Telugu sensibilities, rather than going in for an exact remake of Jigarthanda. "They cannot just remake a movie from Tamil and use the name of our deity in a violent movie. It is an insult," was the general sentiment reflected by the representatives who submitted the petition.
Director Harish Shankar, though, is no stranger to such hassles. During the release of his Allu Arjun starrer Duvvada Jagannatham, Harish had drawn flak from the Brahmin community and he had to even replace a few phrases in a particular song. The movie did poorly at the box office and Harish had taken some time-off before announcing the decision to remake Jigarthanda.
Harish Shankar had earlier clarified that Valmiki was not the name of the protagonist - Varun Tej - in the movie, in an effort to dissociate the use of the name with any violence. But now faced with a complaint, the director has stated that he would surely look into the concerns of the protesters.Read More