Chennai: Amid reports that the producers of Vijay starrer Mersal are under intense pressure from certain political leaders to delete portions critical of the Central and state governments, the fans of the star have hit back by posting the 'offensive' clip on the social media and daring the politicos to prevent their hero's 'socially important' message from reaching the masses. “What if you delete? We will go ahead and share it”, said a whatsup post that carried a video clip of that 'provocative' Vijay scene.
The state BJP leaders, particularly president Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan and Rajya Sabha member L.Ganesan, have slammed Vijay for his scathing remarks on GST and the healthcare system in a high-voltage scene in Mersal that has been drawing applause in the theatres, and outside. Translated, the star rhetoric runs thus: 'When Singapore charging a mere seven per cent GST can provide free healthcare to its people, why can't our government that takes 28 per cent GST give us free medical services? GST of 12 per cent for medicines but no GST for liquor that turns our mothers into widows! There's no oxygen cylinder in our country's number-one hospital! They say it's because the supplier (of oxygen cylinder) has not got his dues for two years!
'In another government hospital, four patients died because of power cut during their dialysis! There's no power back up there! A child in the incubator died after bandicoot bite and that can happen only in our place! The sight of the government hospital scares the people more than the disease itself. And that fear, precisely, is the investment for the private hospitals..' The climax scene outside the court hall, with the hero in handcuffs after being arrested for killing a doctor and three others involved in unethical practices in a corporate hospital, is reportedly bringing the roof down in the theatres with the audience cheering. Outside, it has predictably ruined sleep for some in the saffron camp.
“From where do these people get the guts to attack the Central Government?” thundered state BJP chief Tamilisai, while her colleague Ganesan cautioned that such cinema could make law-abiding citizens lose faith in the government and they could end up in 'mersal', nervous fear. The producer of the film, Murali Ramaswami, is the son of late Rama.Narayanan, who was a DMK legislator apart from being a well-known producer-director. While DC's attempts to contact him failed till late Friday night, there were reports he was under pressure to have the 'offensive' portions deleted. “The film will lose much of its zing without that scene but we must sympathise with the producer if he chooses to succumb to pressure. After all, we in this industry cannot carry on after offending the powers-that-be”, rued a top Kollywood personality requesting anonymity, referring to reports that Central Minister Pon Radhakrishnan was particularly annoyed at Kollywood's anti-Centre rhetoric-Vijay's Mersal, Kamal's twitter and so on.