Senior AIADMK leader and Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar on Saturday said it would be good if Tamil actor Vijay Sethupathi reconsidered his decision to play the lead role in the biopic '800' on Sri Lankan cricketer Muttiah Muralitharan. Jayakumar alleged that Muralitharan had been a "voice" of former Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa and the cricketer supported the leader, who was "responsible" for the killings of the Tamil people during the 2009 civil war.
"Muralitharan had been the voice of his master (Mahinda) Rajapaksa. How will the Tamil people accept him?" he asked.
"It will be a good thing for Vijay Sethupathi to reconsider his decision to play the lead role in the movie," he said adding if he reversed his decision to act in the film, it would earn him respect. The actor's fans themselves have not accepted his move to recreate the career of the cricketer on screen, the Minister claimed.
Muralitharan had on Friday said the proposed biopic '800' on him was only about his sports accomplishments despite the challenge of decades long conflict in his country and his humble beginnings. He expressed anguish over him being accused as against the Tamils and asserted that it was for "political reasons" and out of "ignorance." "I know the pain of war and the loss it causes.
I have never supported the killings of innocent people and will never support that," he said. MDMK, PMK and Naam Tamizhar Katchi and veteran Tamil filmmaker Bharathirajaa were among those who have opposed Sethupathi being a part of the movie.
They had alleged that the cricketer was a "betrayer" of the Tamils.