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Producers guild hails CBFC for backing Vijay's Mersal in GST row


Guild president Siddharth Roy Kapur said it is "when we uphold the rights of artistes to voice diverse opinions through their work that we showcase the best of who we are as a country".

IANS

The Producers Guild of India has lauded the Central Board of Film Certification, popularly known as the censor board, for backing controversial Tamil film Mersal and urged the authorities to ensure that a film certified by the board is allowed to be screened without disruption.

Mersal, Tamil actor Vijay's Diwali release, came under fire from the Tamil Nadu unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which demanded removal of some dialogues which take a dig at the goods and services tax (GST) and the Digital India initiative.

Siddharth Roy Kapur
Siddharth Roy Kapur

Siddharth Roy Kapur, president of the Producers Guild of India, said in a statement: "We applaud the CBFC 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 MK Stalin, apart from actor Kamal Haasan, slammed the BJP's attempt to muzzle criticism of its policies.

Earlier this week, BJP national secretary H Raja even raked up Vijay's Christian origins. "Joseph Vijay's hatred for Modi is Mersal," he wrote, adding a communal tinge to the row.

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

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