Congress MP Shashi Tharoor spoke out in support of Mersal, at a public screening of the film in Thiruvananthapuram.
In a video posted by News First, Tharoor says that GST was badly implemented, and every citizen, business has the right to criticise it. He said there are larger principles at stake, including freedom of expression and censorship. “For the BJP, to come to a cinema that’s already gone through the censor board, and is being screened for the public, and say this scene must be deleted, and then to bully and intimidate the producer till he is willing to cut the scenes, is an unacceptable interference in freedom of expression,” he said.
Tharoor also said that BJP’s calling into doubt Vijay’s name and caste/religion was disgraceful. H. Raja, BJP’s national secretary of the party, had put a copy of Vijay’s voter ID card on Twitter – a clear violation of both Vijay’s privacy, and the platform’s rules about revealing personal information.
Tharoor also spoke about the playing of the National Anthem in movie theatres, and said he welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision about not making it mandatory. He said there are many ways to show one’s patriotism, including paying taxes and being a law-abiding citizen, and standing up for the anthem is more of a show of patriotism than the real thing.
Tharoor also shared a photo of him painting Mersal as a show of support.