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Why is Madurai shown as a city of crime in Tamil films?

It is enervating to see how Madurai and people in Madurai are shown in films. According to Tamil filmmakers, Madurai is a city of crime; you will find arrogant and violent people who carry a knife in their shirt where a pocket protector should be. Even people who do not have a cell phone will carry a billhook on their back. According to Kollywood, communal violence and bloodbath are something that is a part of people’s day to day life there. And goons in Madurai are very outdated, dumb and they do not know that the city even has an airport.  Again, this is not something that I am making out of, but what is shown in Tamil films.

Please do some research on Madurai before making a film about the city. Just because a couple of films based out of Madurai glorified violence, it doesn’t mean every film should be made on the same lines. ‘Madurai la kaala vachaley vettiduvaanga’ - Your leg will be chopped off if you step your foot on Madurai soil; a line that was used in one of the recent Tamil films.

How can someone be so lame to comment on a city like this? To the person who wrote this dialogue- Sir, have you ever been to Madurai before? Or have you seen anyone chopping someone’s legs for stepping into my city? We are still allowing such imprudent filmmakers to make films on our city without making any fuzz; that shows how soft and matured Madurai people are.

I have been in Madurai for 25 years and I have never seen a murder in my lifetime. The city has been so very kind to me and the least I could do is to speak for it. This article is not meant for directors who have shown Madurai in a bad light, but to the audience who think Madurai is what it is shown in films. I have heard stories about corporate companies that are not ready to invest in Madurai because people in the city are brutal like how they are shown in films. I personally feel that every filmmaker needs to be socially responsible. Why not use a fictional city and show whatever violence that you want to in it? Why always refer Madurai as the city of violence.

Yes, the city has seen a lot of violence over the years. Which city has not? Many popular cities across Tamil Nadu including Chennai have come across many acts of brutalities and Madurai is not an exception. Yes, you will find a lot of confident looking people in Madurai who fear nothing, but that should not be misjudged for arrogance. I have personally experienced this once. I was pulled over by a traffic cop in Chennai, and when he kept asking why I violated the rules, I replied to him with composure, but his immediate question to me was, which city are you from. When I told him that I am from Madurai, his reaction was, 'that is why you are so arrogant'. This is a standard thought that people think about Madurai and I believe Tamil cinema has a big part in framing people’s mind in it.

Not just Madurai, generalizing people belonging to any city is not a positive trend and needs to be avoided.  Madurai is famous for a lot of things, but not many showcase the true essence of the city. We hope filmmakers treat Madurai and its people with respect in the future. We are normal people and do not involve in violence at will.

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