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'Don't Try To Demon-etise Tamil Pride': Rahul Gandhi To PM Modi On 'Mersal' Controversy

War of words.

21/10/2017 4:01 PM IST | Updated 21/10/2017 4:04 PM IST
Anindito Mukherjee / Reuters

New Delhi — Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on Saturday took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the BJP's demand for removal of dialogues critical of the GST in Tamil movie Mersal, asking him not to "demon-etise Tamil pride" by such interference.

"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 said in a tweet.

Gandhi's counter-attack came after Tamil actor Vijay's Diwali release Mersal came under attack from BJP leaders in Tamil Nadu, one of whom also sought to give a communal twist by raking up the actor's religion.

The actor has been panned for his dialogues in the film that takes a dig at GST and Digital India. Vijay, who had met Narendra Modi during electioneering ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, had even lauded demonetisation last year.

BJP's National Secretary H Raja in a tweet on Friday raked up the actor's Christian origins.

"Joseph Vijay's hatred for Modi is 'Mersal'."

Referring to the actor's dialogue in the movie, Raja tweeted that in the last 20 years, 17,500 churches, 9,700 mosques and 370 temples were built. Out of these what should be avoided to build hospitals, Raja posted.

Raja even said Mersal shows Vijay's ignorance in economic matters as the Goods and Services Tax (GST) is not a new tax and the tax on liquor is over 58%.

Tamil Nadu BJP President Tamilisai Soundararajan demanded removal of the dialogues relating to GST, digital payments and temples from the movie as they spread a wrong message.

Earlier on Saturday, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram also attacked the BJP over its demand for removal of dialogues critical of GST in Mersal.

"Notice to film makers: Law is coming, you can only make documentaries praising government's policies," Chidambaram tweeted.

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