Mersal row: BJP must respect free speech, says Congress

Kelley Robertson
October 24, 2017

Joining the bandwagon of celebrities, Superstar Rajinikanth on Sunday threw his weight behind Ilayathalapathy Vijay's Mersal, which is in the middle of a political storm since its theatrical release.

"Mersal", Tamil actor Vijay's Diwali release, is amidst controversy after the Tamil Nadu unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) demanded removal of specific dialogues which take a dig at the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and digital India.

The BJP leaders demanded the references to the GST in the Tamil film be removed.

In the pitched faceoff between the Vijay starrer Mersal and the BJP leadership of Tamil Nadu, it's very cool how the state film industry has spoken up for their peers loud, united and bold. They are calling him as Joseph Vijay and attacking him with figures that more churches and mosques are built in last decade but not temples in Tamilnadu.

Meanwhile, the makers of Mersal have decided not to delete the controversial dialogue from the film.

Sri Thenandal Films, producers of "Mersal", however, announced on Saturday that they have chose to remove the controversial GST dialogue from the movie which has already run into many controversies before its release. To oppose the decision of BJP leaders many celebrities and ministers gave their statement against the controversy.

In the meantime, the Opposition took on the BJP for trying to "censor" the movie. "Don't try to demon-etise Tamil pride by interfering in Mersal", Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi tweeted in English and Tamil. "Mersal was certified. Don't re-censor it. Counter-criticism with a logical response. Don't silence critics. India will shine when it speaks". Expectations are high on the movie as everyone are eagerly waiting to watch the combination of Vijay & Atlee. "Important topic addressed. Well done!"

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