The new tax regime, Goods & Services Tax (GST) imposed by Narendra Modi government has been in news since its inception, mostly for wrong reasons. A Tamil movie ‘Mersal’ directed by Atlee Kumar is at the center of controversy as the lead character has criticized the government for imposing GST on medical services.
The character in the movie also slammed for the poor conditions of government hospitals and the character was portrayed by actor Joseph Vijay. The flick was released on 18 October 2017.
Soon, the movie and the point of GST in it grabbed the eyeballs of the politicians and the BJP in Tamil Nadu has demanded cuts in the movie, alleging that some dialogues portray ‘untruths’ about new national tax GST or Goods and Services Tax and the center’s Digital India campaign.
A day after Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders in Tamil Nadu slammed Vijay’s new release Mersal for making comments related to contentious Goods and Services Tax (GST), a full-blown political controversy has erupted over the issue with #MersalVsModi hashtag trending on Twitter as support for the filmmakers have been pouring in.
When asked the team Mersal, they said that the film has been approved by the Censor Board of Film Certification and the ‘matter ends there’. But clearly not.
Tamil Nadu BJP chief Tamilisai Sounderrajan’s demand for cuts yesterday and it was taken up today by union minister Pon Radhakrishnan, who said, “The film producer should remove the untruths regarding GST from the film. We have obtained certification board’s and that’s the end of it,” said a person close to the actor.
When people came to know that the filmmakers are thinking of editing the scenes which talk about GST after opposition from BJP leaders, people came out in support of makers and started trolling Modi government.
Vijay’s father SA Chandrasekhar threw his weight behind his son, saying many BJP leaders have termed GST and demonetization as failures. Veteran actor Kamal Haasan also backed the Vijay starrer and asked those objecting to the movie to counter criticism with a logical response. “Mersal was certified. Don’t re-censor it. Counter-criticism with a logical response. Don’t silence critics. India will shine when it speaks,” Haasan said in a tweet.
Mersal was certified. Dont re-censor it . Counter criticism with logical response. Dont silence critics. India will shine when it speaks.
— Kamal Haasan (@ikamalhaasan) October 20, 2017
P A Ranjith, a movie director, said, “I don’t think there is a need to remove portions in ‘Mersal’ that addresses the GST and other issues. When these scenes are played in the theatre, there is a lot of claps as people appreciated and supported them. Politicians should take the hint and reconsider these issues.”
The BJP is not the only one complaining about Mersal. An association of doctors has alleged that there are uncharitable references to the medical profession in the film and they want these deleted. On the other hand, the medical associations have also made up minds of fighting against “Mersal” as it shows medical professionals in a very bad light.
Various tweets from Congress ministers Rahul Gandhi and Chidambaram has surfaced the Internet. However, it all started when Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan demanded the removal of dialogues which he quoted as “untruths” about the GST.
After the meeting with BJP members, the film-producer revealed, “our honest approach to meet them in person, we thank them all, we explained the movie’s objective, our stand and that this movie has not been produced with an intention to hurt anyone and they have generously accepted it.”
Watch the video here:
Scene that North Korean President Kim Jong-Un wants to delete from the Movie "Mersal". (2017) pic.twitter.com/suBoE1s0ea
— History of India (@RealHistoryPic) October 21, 2017
He then stated, “Mersal is not against anyone. It is not a film that expresses opinions against the government either. Even an ordinary person should get access to proper medical amenities and this is the storyline of the movie.” The movie sources then concluded that they’re going to remove few scenes in which actor Vijay is seen taking digs at the aftermath GST.
It is assumed that over three scenes are picked out till now. In two of them, the actor is seen talking about the ongoing government and other schemes.