As ‘Mersal’ increasingly gathers support from various quarters amid increasing clamour, South Indian Film Chamber of Commerce is the latest to support Mersal’s crew. In a strongly worded statement, the body has condemned backlash on the film saying that no political party has the right to demand changes in a movie that has been censored. “Once the film is certified by the CBFC, then the copyrights of the film vests with the producer/copyright owner. When such being the case, we are aghast at the suggestion of changing dialogues of the film produced by Thenandal Studios Ltd, at the whims and fancies of some political leaders,” the statement read.
The body also strongly criticised BJP leader H Raja for watching Mersal online. “Mr H.Raja a national executive committee member of the BJP confessed before a press reporter that he saw the aforesaid Tamil film on the internet which is obviously a pirated version shown on the internet. We, South Indian Film Industry are ashamed to read the statement that a leading political personality has seen the film on the internet which is a pirated version or quoting a forwarded version and the pirated version,” the statement read. It further added he is liable to be prosecuted under the Privacy act and stated that the body has written “an official letter addressing to our beloved Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Broadcasting minister Smriti Irani, requesting them to take suitable action against Mr.H.Raja for seriously violating the Piracy act”.
‘Mersal’ has been surrounded by the cloud of controversy since the film hit the screens on October 18. The film had drawn the ire of Bharatiya Janata Party for its criticism of initiatives like Digital India, demonetisation and GST. Several BJP leaders including state president Tamilisai Sounderarajan had called for the scenes to be removed. However, the film garnered widespread support from celebrities and public with hashtags like Mersal vs Modi, trending on Twitter.