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Monday, Oct 21, 2019

Tamil Nadu BJP fumes as Vijay film Mersal mocks Modi’s GST, Digital India

State unit of party wants segments from Tamil actor Vijay’s Mersal censored.

india Updated: Oct 20, 2017 14:51 IST
KV Lakshmana
KV Lakshmana
Hindustan Times, Chennai
(A poster of the Tamil movie Mersal, starring Vijay.)

The Tamil Nadu unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party is angry at regional superstar Vijay for his movie that ridicules crucial policies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The anger comes against the backdrop of another prominent film actor, Kamal Haasan, taking aim at the BJP.

At contention is particularly portions where Mersal – which was Vijay’s biggest Diwali release – mocks the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and the Digital India campaign.

“Scenes that convey wrong impression about GST and Digital India should be removed,” said state BJP’s chief TN Soundarrajan on Friday.

Tamil films and politics share a close relationship, with the state’s most prominent figures such as former chief minister J Jayalalithaa having first shot to fame as actors.

The GST is the biggest overhaul of India’s indirect taxation system but has largely been blamed by economists and Modi’s critics for having crippled businesses with its arduous and confusing filing system.

Mersal has been running to packed theatres.

Another BJP leader, youth wing’s SG Suryah, said a scene where Vijay’s character compares India to Singapore is inaccurate. In the scene, Suryah tweeted, Vijay’s character says Singapore has 7% GST and people get free medical treatment, but Indians do not get it despite paying 28% GST.

First Published: Oct 20, 2017 13:27 IST

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