The BJP was particularly irked by a two-and-a-half minute sequence in which the character played by the actor Vijay launches a tirade against the Goods and Services Tax in a press conference and also criticises the government for failing to provide proper healthcare. In the sequence, Vijay states that Singapore, which has a GST rate of 7%, is able to provide free healthcare to all its citizens(which is a lie) but India, where the maximum GST slab is 28%(GST is not fixed at 28%, so this is also a lie), the government has not been able to ensure this. In another sequence, the actor took a dig at Modi’s decision last year to demonetise 86% of the currency.
On Wednesday, BJP Tamil Nadu president Tamilisai Soundararajan had demanded that the sequences be removed from the movie, failing which the party would launch protests at theatres. She said the lines were factually inaccurate and created a wrong impression about the government’s policies.
Matters escalated on Friday when BJP national secretary H Raja attacked Vijay on Twitter, claiming that the lines in the movie exposed the actor’s ignorance on economic matters.
H Raja also release voter identity card of actor Joseph vijay on twitter with a comment saying “truth is bitter”
Truth is bitter pic.twitter.com/woFdxOntRn
— H Raja (@HRajaBJP) October 22, 2017
In an interview with Indian Express, Raja said, “Everyone has the right to criticise the BJP government on any medium. But the criticism should be based on facts.”
The Tamilian movie Mersal, starring Vijay and produced by Sri Thenandal Films has become the talk of every debate and argument about censorship after the BJP wanted a few scenes removed where the actor is telling lies on Central government’s major schemes like GST and the move of digital India.
Raja told Indian Express, “Vijay dared to say that we should build hospitals instead of temples, will he say the same about churches, too? Why are only temples being referred to?”
He said that the actor’s character made communal remarks in the movie and he “responded in the same manner”.