Do not ‘demon-etise’ Tamil pride: Rahul Gandhi to PM Narendra Modi on Mersal row

Rahul Gandhi, GST, Gabbar Singh Tax, BJP, Congress Dramebaaz Party Number 1

New Delhi: In a direct attack aimed at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday asked him not to “demon-etise” Tamil pride by interfering in what is shown in theatres. Reacting to the Mersal row, Gandhi said cinema is a deep expression of Tamil culture and language, said media reports.

His comments come a day after the Tamil Nadu BJP unit objected to Tamil superstar Vijay’s Diwali release, Mersal, for “criticising” the Centre’s flagship schemes, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Digital India.

“Mr. Modi, Cinema is a deep expression of Tamil culture and language. Don’t try to demon-etise Tamil pride by interfering in Mersal,” Gandhi tweeted.

Tamil Nadu BJP leader H Raja, who is also a national secretary of the party, had told a leading English daily on Friday, “Everyone has the right to criticise the BJP government on any medium. But the criticism should be based on facts.” Tamil Nadu BJP leaders hit out at superstar ‘Joseph’ Vijay for GST swipe in movie

“I asked many of my friends in Singapore about Vijay’s claims in the movie. They all said that there is a medical premium imposed on people and that medical treatment is not free. Also, getting medical facilities is very difficult for Singapore’s people. So, it is a lie that they are trying to spread through the movie,” Raja added.

Earlier on Saturday, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram had mocked the party as well for targeting Vijay’s film, saying there will soon be a law to ensure only documentaries “praising” the government’s policies can be released. “BJP demands deletion of dialogues in ‘Mersal’. Imagine the consequences if ‘Parasakthi’ was released today,” the former finance minister had tweeted. “Notice to film makers: Law is coming, you can only make documentaries praising government’s policies.”

In the film, popular comic actor Vadivelu in one scene shows a thief in Singapore his wallet and thanks “Digital India” for it being empty. In another scene, Vijay says that Singapore offers its citizens free healthcare while the GST rate is 7 per cent, but in India, GST is 28 per cent but residents do not receive the same facility.


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