‘Mersal’ row: Producers Guild hails CBFC

Mumbai, Oct 22 (IANS) The Producers Guild of India has lauded the censor board for backing controversial Tamil movie “Mersal” and urged authorities to ensure that a movie certified by the CBFC is allowed to be screened without disruption.

“Mersal”, Tamil actor Vijay’s Diwali release, faced fireworks from the Tamil Nadu unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which demanded removal of specific dialogues which take a dig at GST and digital India.

Siddharth Roy Kapur, President of the Producers Guild of India, said in a statement: “We applaud the CBFC (Central Board of Film Certification) for standing by the freedom of expression of the filmmakers of ‘Mersal’, and for permitting them to air contrarian opinions on current issues voiced by certain characters in their film.

“It is at such times, when we uphold the rights of our artistes to voice diverse opinions through their work, that we showcase the best of who we are as a country.

“We would now expect the relevant authorities to ensure that any coercion on the filmmakers from any quarters whatsoever to make changes to their film, is dealt with firmly, and to ensure that a film which has been duly certified is allowed to be screened without any disruption,” Kapur added.

Politicians, including Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi and DMK leader M.K. Stalin, apart from actor Kamal Haasan slammed the BJP’s attempt to muzzle criticism regarding its policies.

Earlier this week, BJP National Secretary H. Raja even raked up actor Vijay’s Christian origins.

“Joseph Vijay’s hatred for Modi is ‘Mersal’,” he wrote, adding a communal flavour to the row.

Directed by Atlee, “Mersal” stars Vijay in the roles of a village head, a doctor and a magician.

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