‘The Family Man’ season 2 builds on the complex web of terrorism and politics from season 1 and finds intelligence agent Srikant Tiwari (Manoj Bajpayee) pitted against one of the most formidable rebel outfits in the world. Bhaskaran (Mime Gopi) is the revered leader of the rebel movement— a militaristic government in exile that threatens the sitting Sri Lankan government. From his base in London, he guides his loyal troops in India in an attempt to assassinate the Prime Minister.
‘The Family Man’ is known for taking significant inspiration from geopolitical affairs in the Indian subcontinent. The plot for season 2 draws heavily from the Sri Lankan Civil War and its aftermath, with a focus on the rebel forces of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). However, how much of Bhaskaran’s story matches that of the real-life highly controversial founder and leader of the rebel forces? Let’s take a look.
Is The Family Man Season 2 Based on Prabhakaran?
‘The Family Man’ season 2 and its antagonist Bhaskaran are partly based on the story of the actual leader of the LTTE, but the show also builds an alternate reality that strays far from the true story of Velupillai Prabhakaran. At the beginning of season 2, we see Bhaskaran and his brother Subbu leave Sri Lanka after their rebel camp is raided. Bhaskaran subsequently shifts base to London, from where he continues to control his last remaining rebel troops. His plan to assassinate the Prime Minister of India and the fact that he is a leader of the Sri Lankan Tamil rebel forces reflect the real-life Prabhakaran.
The 1991 assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, a former Prime Minister of India, is largely attributed to the LTTE, which was under the leadership of Prabhakaran at the time. A variety of reasons, including Gandhi’s threat to disarm the Sri Lankan rebel outfit and Prabhakaran’s personal animosity with him, have been put forward to explain the attack.
The suicide bomber, a 17-year-old Sri Lankan girl and LTTE member named Thenmozhi Rajaratnam, also seems to allude to the character of Raji on the show, who is handpicked to assassinate the Prime minister in a kamikaze-style suicide attack. However, this is where the similarities end, as, unlike Bhaskaran who moves to London before finally being apprehended in France, the real Prabhakaran never left Sri Lanka.
How Did Prabhakaran Die?
Prabhakaran joined the Tamil movement in Sri Lanka whilst he was still in his teens and assassinated the mayor of Jaffna in what would become the first major political assassination by a Tamil group. He subsequently led the LTTE, also known as the Tamil Tigers, in their separationist movement to form an independent Tamil state in northern Sri Lanka. The bitter conflict between the LTTE and the Sri Lankan forces, which lasted more than 25 years and cost over 70,000 lives, came to an end largely because of the death of the LTTE founder and leader.
Footage of Prabhakaran’s body on the banks of the Nanthikadal lagoon in the Mullaitivu area in northeast Sri Lanka was circulated on television on May 19, 2009. Accounts of his death vary from him being killed fleeing in action, to being captured and shot dead by Sri Lankan Special Forces. There are also claims that he committed suicide before the forces could reach him. Prabhakaran’s death followed the rapid takeover of LTTE territory by the Sri Lankan Army in the final days of battle, during which most of the remaining LTTE forces were wiped out. The Sri Lankan government has since faced criticism for their heavy-handed solution that resulted in the large-scale loss of civilian life.
Read More: Is The Family Man Based on a True Story?