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Actor Vijay’s fans protest Tamil Nadu health department’s demand to withdraw Sarkar poster

The department had taken objection to the poster, featuring the actor smoking a cigarette, as it allegedly violates the Cigarette and other Tobacco Products Act, 2003.

Manigandan KR

Tamil actor Vijay’s fans are unhappy with the Tamil Nadu health department’s move to issue a notice to the actor asking him to withdraw a poster from his upcoming film Sarkar from all social media platforms and websites.

The health department had taken objection to the poster as it featured the actor smoking a cigarette. The poster allegedly violates the COTPA (Cigarette and other Tobacco Products Act, 2003). The department, in its notice issued to the actor and the film's director AR Murugadoss, also warned that if the poster in question was not withdrawn immediately, legal action would be initiated against the film's makers.

Soon, after receiving the notice, the makers withdrew the poster from their respective Twitter handles. Sun Pictures, producer the film, actor Vijay and director AR Murugadoss all deleted the tweets they had put out promoting the poster in question.

However, Vijay's fans are refusing to let go of the poster as they believe the notice to the actor is a vindictive act. According to them, Vijay is being targeted, as other actors who have featured in similar posters have never received any such notice. To substantiate their claim, they cite the case of the film  Asuravadham (2018), that released last week. This film had several scenes of actor M Sasikumar smoking cigarettes, but no action was taken against the actor or the film's makers. 

To express their displeasure over the government’s move, many fans of the actor have made the Sarkar poster their display picture on social media. This has put the film's makers in a quandary, who are now struggling to get rid of the poster.

The health department will conduct a review meeting on Wednesday (11 July) or Thursday (12 July) to see if its orders have been carried out by the Sarkar team.