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Actor-director K Bhagyaraj resigns as president of South Indian Film Writers' Association


Following the plagiarism row over Vijay's upcoming film, Sarkar, Bhagyaraj has resigned from his position as president, and also tendered an apology to the makers of the film. 

Shriram Iyengar

Director K Bhagyaraj has stepped down as the president of the South Indian Film Writers' Association (SIFWA).

The decision comes days after Bhagyaraj intervened in the case where Sarkar director AR Murugadoss was accused of plagiarism by writer Varun Rajendran. Rajendran had approached the association to look into the matter suggesting the film had thematic and character similarities with his script, titled Sengol. According to him, his script also had a rich businessman turning to politics after experiencing voter fraud just like in Sarkar.

The team of Sarkar recently accepted an out-of-court settlement with Rajendran and agreed to give him credit for the story of the film. 

However, in a statement, Bhagyaraj has apologised to the makers of the film, Sun Pictures. The Indian Express, a daily, quoted the director as saying, "The discomforts I had faced and indiscipline I know, have not been published keeping in view the welfare and reputation of the Association. Besides, even after requesting Murugadoss, who did not comply, I was pushed to a situation where I divulged the storyline of a big organization – Sun Pictures’s big movie Sarkar. Still, as I realized my mistake, I tender my apologies to the producers Sun Pictures." 

In addition, the statement also reads Bhagyaraj saying, "Some irregular activities of the Association came to my notice. Many rules and regulations were required to be amended. Without doing all these I felt it would not be possible to save the reputation of the Association as well as the welfare of the members. As a writer, I feel rectifying is my utmost responsibility. The only way for this change is to get all those who have been elected without competition like me to resign and appoint them to the responsible positions through proper election. However, I do not have the right to compel others." 

On 30 October, director Murugadoss put out a statement crediting the involvement of Bhagyaraj and SIFWA in telling them about Varun Rajendran's story and registration at the association. 

Sarkar is produced by Sun Pictures, and features actor Vijay and actress Keerthy Suresh in leading roles. The film is set to be released on 6 November.