Tamil actor Vishal has broken his silence on the reported GST raids at his office on Monday evening. On Tuesday, Vishal told NDTV, “The timing of IT (Income Tax) department’s visit to my office is suspect.” He added that “the BJP’s demand to chop Mersal dialogues is a curb on freedom of expression.”
Several publications including Janta Ka Reporter had reported about the raids by the GST’s intelligence unit. The GST’s intelligence unit had later issued a statement denying the reports of raids at the actor’s premises.
Vishal, who also heads the Tamil Film Producers Council (TFPC) and general secretary of the South Indian Artistes’ Association (SIAA) had accused Raja of “promoting piracy” and also demanded an apology from him.
He had said, “Dear Mr H Raja, as a leader and prominent personality, you are advocating piracy and blatantly agreeing to it. How a political leader like you could watch a pirated version of a film (online).”
BJP in Tamil Nadu on Sunday had stooped to new low by posting what it claimed was the voter identity card of actor Vijay in a bid to establish his Christian faith.
H Raja, an ex-MLA and the BJP’s national secretary, posted a photo of a voter ID card, which appeared to show actor Vijay’s name as Joseph Vijay. Raja wrote, “Truth is bitter.” Along with Vijay’s voter ID card, Raja also posted a letter, allegedly written by the popular actor in 2014 to Kumudham magazine’s editor thanking for shortlisting his name in the list of popular actors in Tamil Nadu.
BJP is unhappy with the reference to GST in the film. The scene has become the dominant theme of social media conversations after a BJP minister took strong objection to the references to GST in the film and demanded its removal. The filmmakers have reportedly agreed to delete the scene. But this hasn’t stopped the ascene from going viral.
In the clip (below) the protagonist Vijay is seen lashing out at the establishment while slamming the GST. In his monologue, Vijay is seen referring to Singapore, which levies only 7% GST and can afford to provide free healthcare services. However, India is unable to provide the same while levying a 28% GST. An angry Vijay, while speaking to reporters in the film, also talks about the children’s deaths in Gorakhpur hospital.