As if the political uncertainty hovering around the strained relations between the ruling AIADMK and the DMK wasn’t enough, Tamil Nadu enters yet another phase of the quagmire of political gambit. It seems that the long honeymoon between Kollywood and the Tamil Nadu politics is running on the rough edge. And this time the guns are aimed at the Tamil stardom’s Vijay starrer Mersal which claims huge profits at the box office cashing in on the Diwali release of the film.
But what turned the row bitter were some patent dialogues by actor Vijay from the movie, criticizing PM Modi’s GST drive and the digital India drive, which triggered a furore at the BJP camp, asking the producer to delete some scenes from the movie.
Slamming the Tamil film industry and the filmmaking crew of Mersal, the BJP state unit President Tamilisai Sounderrajan defended the saffron party’s stand and questioned the Mersal producer for the anti-BJP dialogues in the film, in spite of the BJP government’s phenomenal progress in the different parts of the country. Referring to the comments made against the Modi government in the film Sounderrajan, said “ When you make films, you don’t follow rules. But, you criticize the government and tax regime,” she said. “I request Vijay fans not to support such statements.”
Even though the film has grossed 100 crores in the first three days it’s success has come under fire due to the unfiltered mockery portrayed in the film against the Modi government, not to mention the irreverent slander the film’s protagonist Vijay has received.
The film even revoked outbursts from the Tamil Nadu Government’s Doctor’s Association over unfavourable statements made against the medical fraternity.
So what’s it all about? Is gaining negative attention the trump card for popularity in today’s movie industry? or rather both the movie and the political fraternity?
As we all know that the BJP is trying to make a disparate impact in the Southern India, with Amit Shah plotting his Janraksha yatra in Kerala and constantly launching attacks on the different issues that Tamil Nadu is overwrought with.
The political scenario in Tamil Nadu is going through thorns and bushes, since the demise of J. Jayalalitha and the poor health conditions of M Karunanidhi, the two pioneers of Tamil Nadu politics. The absence of a significant power has lead to the involvement of politically ambitious and indecisive people trying to warm their hands at the helm of powers in Fort St. George.
Senior BJP leader S Raja added fuel to the fire when he raked up the religious issue by pointing at actor Vijay’s voter ID card which displays his religion as Christian. He stated that the actor made some insensitive dialogues in the film which seriously hurt the Hindu sentiments.
He took to Twitter taking a jibe at the actor saying, “ Truth is bitter. “Joseph Vijay’s hatred for Modi is Mersal”. a War of words even took off between senior BJP politician GVL Narasimha Rao and Bollywood actor Farhan Akhtar when he made a harsh on movie stars saying, “movie stars have very low IQ and very low general knowledge.” TO this Farhan Akhtar responded, “How dare you sir?” and tagged the BJP leader. Several political leaders lashed out at the BJP for demanding cuts in the film.
Coming out in full support of the Tamil movie industry Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi tweeted, “Mr Modi, Cinema is a deep expression of Tamil culture and language. Don’t try to demonise Tamil pride by interfering in Mersal,”
Even veteran actors Rajnikanth and Kamal Hassan came out in support of the huge success of Mersal. It seems that the BJP is ready to pull all the stops for its final call before2019 elections. All we need to see is how far or how deep the saffron brigade can furl it’s saffron flag to re-establish its worth and regain its pride.