Chennai: Director Pa Ranjit has been issued bail in the case registered against him for making derogatory remarks against a 10th century Chola emperor.

In the court hearing, the judge advised the director not to speak about a revered ancient ruler when there are so many other issues that can be discussed. 

Following a complaint filed by a functionary of Hindu Makkal Katchi, a Hindu nationalist party in Tamil Nadu, a case was registered in June against Ranjith under Indian Penal Code (IPC) section 153 (provocation to cause riot) and section 153 (A) (1) (promoting hatred, etc.). Justice P Rajamanickam had directed the police to file a counter plea then.

Ranjit had made the alleged remarks at a public meeting organised by a Dalit outfit in Thanjavur district of Tamil Nadu. In his petition, he mentioned that he had quoted certain historical facts about King Rajaraja Cholan. The prosecution felt that the facts shared by him would promote enmity among people. 

The director reportedly said that in the history taught to us, Rajaraja Cholan’s reign was a golden period, but according to many social reformers it was a dark rule for the oppressed caste as most of their lands were acquired by the King. 

While many speakers brought forth the same issue, Ranjith’s speech was circulated on social media.

The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court had in June granted him anticipatory bail. Justice P Rajamanickam observed that there was no need to investigate the Kaala director under police custody.

Pa Ranjith’s bail plea stated that he, as a chief guest at the event, only spoke some of the truths about King Raja Raja Chozhan. 

“How to remove casteism? How to create a casteless society? I spoke about all these, including the plight of landless people, especially those from the delta regions mentioned in Umar Farooq’s Senthamizh Naatu Cherigal.”