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Prakash Raj Reacts to Controversy Surrounding ‘Slapping Scene’ in Jai Bhim

A 'Jai Bhim' scene where Prakash Raj slaps someone speaking in Hindi was criticised online for being 'anti-Hindi'.

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<div class="paragraphs"><p>Prakash Raj reacts to a scene in&nbsp;<em>Jai Bhim&nbsp;</em>which led to controversy online for being 'anti-Hindi'.</p></div>
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A scene in Suriya’s film Jai Bhim led to controversy online. In the scene, Prakash Raj slaps a man who speaks in Hindi and asks him to speak in Tamil (or Telugu) instead. Several netizens criticised the scene for propagating a ‘anti-Hindi’ agenda. Prakash Raj has responded to the controversy and said that the outrage ‘exposes the agenda’ of those criticising it.

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Speaking to News9, Prakash Raj said, “After watching a film like Jai Bhim, they did not see the agony of the tribal people, they did not see and feel terrible about the injustice, but they only saw the slap. That is all they understood. This exposes their agenda.”

Reacting to the scene, Prakash said that it was reflective of the way a person investigating a case will react when he knows someone is trying to sidestep questioning by speaking in Hindi despite knowing the local language.

Prakash added that in the time the film is set in, a person would have reacted the same way at ‘Hindi being imposed’ on them. He said, “There are over a thousand cases of tribal women who have not received any formal education being sent notices in English. There is a need to see the larger perspective.”

Prakash Raj further said that he has also ‘given back to the Hindi industry,’ “I came to Hindi very late but I have also given back to that industry. It's okay for us to have differences, we have to learn to live with them. Focus here is on injustice. Let us be fair.”

Jai Bhim is directed by TJ Gnanavel and stars Suriya, Lijomol Jose, Prakash Raj, and Rao Ramesh among others. The film follows the story of Prakash Raj’s character who is a cop investigating false cases put against the tribal population. It is based on a case in 1993 wherein Justice Chandru fought a case for a tribal couple Senggeni and Rajkannu. The latter was arrested and later went missing from the police station.

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