To the disappointment of many Bollywood & John Abraham fans in the UK, Cineworld through a tweet to a Tamil activist have confirmed that John Abraham’s Madras Cafe will not be screened in the UK via their cinemas.
Cineworld Cinemas – Our policy is to show a wide range of films for different audiences. However, following customer feedback and working with the film distributors, we have decided to not show Madras Cafe.
The film was to be launched internationally on the 23th August 2013 in Hindi & Tamil. The decision to not screen the film comes after peaceful protests & petitions by UK Tamils who claim the film has depicted the Tamil community in a bad light and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam as Terrorists. The film also fails to mention the Human Rights atrocities committed by the IPKF (Indian Peace Keeping Force) & Sri Lankan government forces against civilians.
The UK protests, follows recent protests in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu who have called for the film to be banned in the state. In the northern state of Mahrashtra, the BJP, India’s second largest political party have also called for a ban of the film. The film was released today across India, except in Tamil Nadu.
The Sri Lankan Tamil issue has been a sensitive matter in Indian Politics, in particular Tamil Nadu. At the beginning of 2013 a series of Anti-Sri Lanka protests led by students in Tamil Nadu highlighted the Tamil genocide of 2009 in Sri Lanka and the on-going killings of hundreds of Tamil Nadu’s fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy patrolling the sea between South India & Northern Sri Lanka.
Madras Cafe, directed by Shoojiy Sircar is described as ”an espionage thriller” which according to the director is based on real-life events.
Set in the late 80s & early 90s, John Abraham plays the role of an Indian Army intelligence agent ‘Major Vikram Singh’ who is sent to Jaffna (Northern Sri Lanka) during the occupation of the IPKF. Major Singh against the backdrop of Asia’s bloodiest civil war between the Tamil rebel groups & the Sinhalese dominated Sri Lankan government, unravels a plot to assassinate Rajiv Ghandi.