Ground Report | New Delhi: The tag #TamilsPrideLTTE took Twitter by a storm yesterday, trending with close to 100K tweets. Thousands of Twitterati posted the hashtag with a picture of Velupillai Prabhakaran, founder of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). They hailed him for being a Tamil nationalist hero who fought for liberation. This hashtag and the show of solidarity with LTTE and Prabhakaran stemmed from the controversy surrounding Season 2 of “The Family Man”.
The Family Man Controversy
Recently released season 2 trailer of the Amazon Prime series The Family Man allegedly depicts people belonging to the LTTE, Eelam Tamils, as terrorists. Tamilians believe LTTE fought against the oppression that Sri Lanka’s Sinhala majority government was subjecting the local Tamilians to. LTTE are perceived as brave, righteous warriors who stood for the liberation of the Tamilians.
Thus, their depiction as terrorists with links to ISI has hurt the sentiments of many. Moreover, one of the show’s characters, Bhaskaran, starkly resembles the LTTE founder and leader Prabhakaran. His portrayal is historically inaccurate, problematic, and hurt the sentiments of Tamilians.
There is much outrage over the stereotypical portrayal of Eelam Tamils, who are already a persecuted minority. MDMK Rajya Sabha member Vaiko and Naam Tamilar Katchi leader Seeman have both demanded a ban on the series. They have pointed out that the show has hurt the pride of Tamilians across the globe. It has intentionally portrayed them as “vicious people” and offended the Tamil community.
Amidst the controversy, Tamilians took to Twitter to express their support for Prabhakaran’s philosophy and contributions to the Tamil liberation struggle. This tweetstorm expressed their denouncement of the narrative that LTTE were terrorists. Rather, they saluted the bravery and sacrifice of Eelam Tamils and compared Prabhakaran to revolutionaries like Che Guevara. Along with this, some have also uninstalled Amazon’s apps in a bid to boycott it for streaming the show.
All in all, the hashtag trended because the 2nd season of The Family Man hurt the pride of Tamilians and they chose to protest this on Twitter.