Facing criticism from the Tamil Nadu BJP over dialogues allegedly flaying the GST in “Mersal”, the film production house today said that if needed, it would delete scenes that have caused “misunderstanding”.
It also said that the BJP’s opposition to some dialogues in “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.
References to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in the just-released Vijay-starrer film had not gone down well with the BJP.
Tamil Nadu BJP chief Tamilisai Soundararajan and the party’s national secretary H Raja strongly opposed it, claiming that some dialogues were “highly inappropriate”.
Earlier in the day, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi hit out at the BJP, asking Prime Minister Narendra Modi not to “interfere” and saying that cinema was a “deep expression” of Tamil culture.
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.”
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 leaders, including Soundararajan, here.
“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” (a colloquial Tamil word, the meaning of which is getting stunned) is not against anyone, Ramaswamy said in a statement.
“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,” the production house head said.
However, he did not elaborate whether the BJP leaders insisted on removing views they found “objectionable” or whether the producers will affect 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.
Meanwhile, in a statement, the Tamil Film Producers Council and South Indian Artistes’ Association opposed cuts as the movie had already been censored.
They claimed that it went against the right to freedom of expression and will set a bad precedent.