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Madhur Bhandarkar questions Rahul Gandhi stand on Mersal row

The filmmaker regretted that the Congress vice-president did not take a similar stand when Bhandarkar's Indu Sarkar (2017) was panned by his party.

Photo: Shutterbugs IImages

Mayur Lookhar

The newly released Tamil film, Mersal, finds itself embroiled in political controversy with members of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party demanding a scene be cut for opposing demonetization and the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

The scene has one of actor Vijay’s characters criticizing the moves. A BJP leader from Tamil Nadu, H Raja, slammed the actor and even brought his faith into question. However, the film and its makers have received support from the opposition Congress party.

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi took a dig at prime minister Narendra Modi and his party for the Mersal controversy.

However, Gandhi's support for the freedom of cinema did not escape the notice of director Madhur Bhandarkar. Bhandarkar's film, Indu Sarkar (2017), had faced opposition from the Congress earlier this year.

The director questioned Gandhi's stand on the issue, reminding him that his party workers had objected to Indu Sarkar. The story of Indu Sarkar was set in the Emergency period (1975-77) imposed by prime minister Indira Gandhi, Rahul's grandmother.

Apart from running into trouble with the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), Indu Sarkar was slammed by a few Congress leaders who dubbed it a sponsored film. Congress workers from Madhya Pradesh had threatened to vandalize theatres that screened the film.

Pa Ranjith, Kamal Haasan step up in support of Mersal team

However, Bhandarkar's tweet has only raised political temperatures around Mersal more. The film has already received the support of former Union finance minister P Chidambaram as well as veteran actor Kamal Haasan.

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