Mersal: Producers willing to delete scenes on GST from film; call BJP's opposition 'just'

PTI

Oct,22 2017 13:58 47 IST

Chennai: Facing flak from the Tamil Nadu BJP over dialogues allegedly flaying the GST in Mersal, the film production house said on 21 October that if needed, it would delete scenes that have caused "misunderstanding", even as the Congress slammed the saffron party for demanding cuts.

The producers also said that the BJP's opposition to some dialogues in Vijay-starrer Mersal was "just" from its own perspective.

Giving indication that a truce had been reached between the production house and the state BJP, the producers claimed that BJP leaders have accepted their explanation.

Vijay in a still from Mersal. YouTube screengrab

Vijay in a still from Mersal. YouTube screengrab

Sri Thenandal Films head Murali Ramaswamy said, "From their perspective, their opposition is just. If opinions (expressed in the movie) that may lead to misunderstanding need to be removed, we are ready for that too."

Earlier in the day, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi and senior party leader P Chidambaram had hit out at the state BJP for demanding cuts in Mersal.

"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 Gandhi said in a tweet, which was retweeted by Chidambaram.

The comment came a day after Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan demanded the removal of dialogues which he termed as "untruths" about the Goods and Services Tax (GST), rolled out by the BJP-led NDA government on 1 July.

The BJP leaders have appreciated "our honest approach to meet them in person, we thank them all", the film's producer said after a meeting with state BJP chief Tamilisai Soundararajan and the party's leaders in Chennai.

"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," he said.

"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 story line of the movie," Ramaswamy said in a statement

However, he did not elaborate whether the BJP leaders insisted on removing views they found "objectionable" or whether the producers will effect the cuts or not.

Even before the movie was released there were some "controversies", which were "set right", he said, adding "it is anguishing that the film has courted several controversies within a few days of its release".

Noting that Mersal was the company's 100th production, Ramaswamy said that the entire team worked hard for a year to make the film and it was screened after overcoming several hurdles.

"... There is an investment of many crores of rupees and the labour of thousands of workers," he said.

The goal of the firm is to produce movies of good entertainment value. "If anyone was hurt because of our production, I consider it as my own regret", the producer said, adding that the film was running successfully.

Sri Thenandal Films is a well-known film production house in Tamil Nadu.

Tamil Nadu BJP leaders, including Soundararajan and national secretary H Raja, have strongly opposed references to the GST in the just-released Tamil movie and claimed dialogues in it were "highly inappropriate".

Against the background, Chidambaram tweeted, "Notice to film makers: Law is coming, you can only make documentaries praising government's policies."