Mersal row: BJP demand ‘insulting freedom of expression’


Sidelined AIADMK leader T T V Dhinakaran today joined the chorus in favour of Tamil film ‘Mersal,’ which is facing BJP heat, saying the saffron party’s demand to delete scenes on GST amounted to “insulting freedom of expression.” He also questioned the “aggressive” posture of BJP National Secretary H Raja on this matter. Answering reporters’ queries on the controversy surrounding the Vijay-starrer, Dhinakaran mockingly said that the film crew should thank Raja and BJP state President Tamilisai Soundrajan for giving such publicity for the movie. “The censor board has allowed (the film’s release) and they are now objecting (to certain scenes on GST)… this amounts to insulting freedom of expression,” he said.

Goods and Services Tax

Dhinakaran said the film has only tried to highlight an issue, Goods and Services Tax, “affecting people.” “I don’t know why Raja is so aggressive. His tone is intimidating. This is a shameful thing for all politicians, including me,” he said. The BJP leaders could have sorted out the issue with the film producers through talks, Dhinakaran added. Diwali release “Mersal” has kicked up a row with the BJP taking exception to references on GST in the movie.

BJP leaders, including Raja, Tamilisai Soundarajan and Union minister Pon Radhakrishnan have been demanding that the “incorrect” references be deleted from the big-budget flick. However, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, his senior colleague P Chidambaram, DMK working president M K Stalin, veteran star Kamal Haasan, Tamil Film Producers Council, South Indian Artistes’ Association and a host of Tamil cinema industry representatives had supported the film crew on the issue.

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