Following Tamil Nadu BJP unit objected to the references made to GST and Digital India in the Vijay-starrer Mersal, more support is pouring in for the actor, film maker and the film.
In one scene actor Vijay’s character in the film laments at the government’s inability to provide free healthcare for all in India despite high GST rates in India, saying Singapore is able to fund a free health scheme despite a much lower GST rate.
Kabali director PA Ranjith said there was no need bow down to any kind of pressure. “There is no need to remove those scenes. Those scenes talk about what people are going through. When those dialogues were uttered, people applauded in theatres, this shows what people are thinking,” PA Ranjith said.
By this protest against some dialogues in Mersal – BJP has helped in getting the film publicity and making Vijay into a mass “leader” .
“Don’t silence critics. India will shine when it speaks. Mersal was certified. Don’t re-censor it. Counter criticism with logical response,” Kamal Haasan tweeted, wading into the controversy that erupted after the movie, Mersal, was released on Diwali. Kamal Haasan’s comment comes amid his moves towards joining full-time politics.
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi attacked the Modi government over its demands to remove dialogues from Tamil film Mersal which criticize the Centre’s Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Digital India initiatives.
“Mr Modi, cinema is a deep expression of Tamil culture and language. Don’t try to demon-etise Tamil pride by interfering in Mersal,” Rahul said in a tweet.
The Congress and the DMK too have attacked the ruling party at the centre over the issue.
Actor-turned-politician Khushboo Sundar, national spokesperson of the Congress party on Friday alleged that the BJP was “throttling freedom.” She tweeted, “Sme r bound 2 hve sleepless nights ovr #Mersal..demanding removal of scenes is yet another way of throttling shows ur fear #BJP.”
Similarly, Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president S Thirunavukkarasar spoke in favour of freedom of expression and asked if the BJP state chief was the CBFC chief.
Echoing their ally’s viewpoint, DMK’s spokesperson Saravanan said, “Why is the BJP so jittery? If someone has put out stuff that is not factual, let BJP counter with facts.”
“Movie disclaimers say it is based on fictional stuff, then why is the BJP taking it so seriously? They are taking it too far,” he added.
Within the state BJP unit, there is some grudging admission that its opposition may have already backfired. The movie has hit the national headlines, publicising not just the film but the dig that it took at the central government on a contemporary topic.



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