The Tamil Nadu Telugu Yuvasakti association is unhappy with Vadivelu-starrer Tamil period-comedy Thenaliraman for allegedly portraying Telugu folk hero Thenaliraman and king Krishnadevaraya in poor light. They are seeking the state government's intervention in the matter, but the film's lead actor Vadivelu says he is playing a fictional character.
Several other Telugu groups too have united to raise their voice against the film's release on April 18. "We have seen the film's trailer and we are not happy with the way two prominent historic characters of our culture have been portrayed. If the film is released, it will hurt the sentiments of Telugu people across the world. We now plan to take this up with the state government," K Jagadeswara Reddy, president, Tamil Nadu Telugu Yuvasakti, told IANS.
"We have already submitted petitions to several government officials and have requested for a meeting with the state governor soon. Several other Telugu groups have also joined hands in the matter because it is a concern of the entire Telugu community," he added.
Ever since the film was announced, the makers have been promoting Vadivelu in a double role as Krishnadevaraya as well as Thenaliraman. But when the controversy erupted, Vadivelu clarified and said he is playing fictional character Mannar and not Krishnadevaraya in the film. "I'm playing the role of a fictional king called Mannar. The Thenaliraman character has the wit of the popular folk hero. We have not tried to hurt anybody's sentiment," Vadivelu said.
The film Thenaliraman, produced by AGS Entertainment, also features Radha Ravi, Meenakshi Dixit, Manobala and Bala Singh in important roles.