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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Mersal – Storm in a Tea Cup

The film ‘Mersal’ has created a real storm. Of late there is a kind of thinking and functioning that one can utter falsehoods / lies under the garb of free thinking and freedom to express. This is not azadi. Freedom to utter lies and falsehood mislead people and the whole country – it is no freedom and cannot be allowed.

Clamping down on such irresponsibility is a must and the government must take note of it. The media has a role to play and it must be a positive one. That does not mean that the Opposition and the political leaders cannot criticize, but criticism is not spreading falsehood.

‘Mersal’, the Tamil film in which Joseph Vijay acts, mouthing such falsehoods, is most uncalled for. But what is worse is the way the Congress leaders and the DMK have lined up to support this anti-people film which is equivalent to injecting ill will and discontentment among the people against the government.

If it is based on facts, one cannot fault the producer and the actor. But since it is based on falsehoods, it is the duty of the government to see that the media behaves with responsibility and not become a tool to foment irrational anger against the government.

Firstly, the film Mersal is undermining Parliament which had passed the GST, and the GST council which included all state Governments in finalizing the GST rates. No wonder Rahul Gandhi has jumped into the fray and exposed his usual foolishness. He can never utter sense. He, a dynast, has no respect for democracy.

Secondly, one need not learn from him about Tamil pride. What is the Tamil pride that is hurt if Mersal is faulted? Is he having in mind Jallikattu, which Congress tried its utmost to ban before Modi and O Paneerselvam intervened and passed an ordinance to allow this native sport of bull-hugging to continue? Mersal is a film just to incite the people – there is no Tamil pride involved.

Thirdly, Rahul Gandhi has exposed his duplicity, his double standards – one for ‘Indu Sarkar’ film which he and the Congress wanted to be banned, though this film was based on historical facts of the Emergency.

One must ask Stalin what he had to undergo during the Emergency. Today, for the sake of power he has forfeited his belief in democracy and hence he, another dynast, has allied with Rahul Gandhi. How can these people stand up for democracy and where is the Bharatiya pride? We Bharatiyas are proud that the Constitution had opted for a system of government which is democracy. These dynasts are in the political field to build their individual empires of loot.

Imagine Rahul Gandhi advising Modi to listen to the people. Where are the people in his political structure and in his elevation. There is only one family and one power center. He forgets that he cannot be listening to the people when he is tied to his mother’s apron strings. He cannot preach on democracy when his party has only one power center – when his mother was the extra constitutional and ultra-constitutional power Centre during the disastrous UPA 1 & 2 regimes.

He cannot envisage what democracy is when he compared his political dynasty with actor families and business houses. In those, there is no election – there it is a family which invests money or promotes their children and they do not need to listen to the people. He, as usual, exposed his utter inability to understand what a democracy is all about.

Today he is supporting Mersal. Why did he demand Indu Sarkar be banned?Again, his double standard is clear.

One wonders where the CPM and the CPI are – they who follow the ideology of Communist China which has no democracy and which has total control over men and affairs and the government. Why have they not criticized China – on the contrary Yechury was recently heard praising ‘China’s achievements’ under Xi Jinping. Why do they only abet azadi in our institutions and incite the youth – why doesn’t their heart beat for Tibet which is suffering brutal Chinese occupation? Will China tolerate such actions? Will China allow its media & its institutions to criticize the government’s actions? Yet, they follow China’s ideology and are ‘comrades’.

Mersal has compared Bharat with Singapore’s GST. Singapore is a small country, smaller than almost any state of Bharat. We have a population which comprises of one sixth of the world’s total population. How does one cater to the needs of this vast population? Remember, once the former PM MM Singh stated that money does not grow on trees.

The Opposition will incite the farmers, the fishermen, the unemployed et al. We need to give subsidies on almost everything – rations, crop support price, free houses etc. Almost from birth to death, in some way or another, the government has to support. To cut short, where does the government go for money? Can this scenario be compared to Singapore or any other country? As stated earlier, 1/6th of the world population is living in Bharat and surely there will be compromises. And when this Government tries to make the subsidy programs more efficient through use of Aadhar, the same critics pounce on that too under the guise of privacy! The people cannot take a stand against the government for everything under the garb of azadi.

To come back to the film Mersal, the BJP should focus on the film denigrating Parliament and our federal system. And roll out of such a far-reaching reform is bound to have teething problems, which the Government has acknowledged and is working to correct.

Rahul Gandhi will not learn because he had even torn an ordinance once. He thinks that as a dynast he has the right to do whatever he wants. Yet he advises Modi to listen to the people. This is not to say that the Opposition has no right to criticize – but it must be based on facts and truth. It has no right to instigate and create unrest with untruths.

A seemingly responsible person like P. Chidambaram makes silly statements that soon we will have a law that only films praising the government can be made. Yes, persons like him are a disgrace to the nation. It looks that these people who cannot garner votes to win a panchayat must hold on to the dynasty mode of government for their survival. Towards this they must make statements to please the power center-nay-the High Command.

They are unable to realize that democracy means the ability for an ordinary person to rise as a leader. To millions of Bharatiyas, the rise of Modi is a sign that democracy is mature and is functioning. The people are proud that a man from a humble background through his hard work could become the PM of this great country.

But people like PC, Mani Shankar Aiyer and the Nehru-Gandhi family are the biggest blocks to democracy; yet, they swear by democracy when it suits them. This is the jaundiced vision they have. One cannot rely on such people because they expose their vested interest in dynasty.

Many are not happy with Modi for the simple reason that he is determined to stop the looting of the people; to bar netas from investing the loot in tax havens. Hence, there is a syndicate against Modi to prevent him from stopping this free-for-all looting which they were indulging in so far, cheating the people of their rights, keeping them poor and communalizing them in ghettos.

Nobody has the right to spread falsehoods and mislead the people. The media must be responsible in its role and we the people expect the government to take action against such anti-democratic institutions and people which aim only at creating unrest. Mersal thus falls on its face and Joseph Vijay must compare his earnings to the actors in Singapore and find out how much personal tax they pay.

Instead of building temples, he advises hospitals to be built. Surely he should direct this to the Christians and the Muslims who have greater number of churches and mosques – with more & more being built with each passing day. Hasn’t he heard of ‘Church Planting’ drives using FCRA funds? Instead of paying subsidy year after year for Haj, why not use that money to build hospitals? He has no idea of the number of churches that have been built in Bharat in the past five years.

Such actors think that once they have made enough money and fame, they are qualified to speak on any subject. Their next aim is to become a neta. It would be proper for the producer of Mersal to set the clock right by deleting the falsehoods and wrong information especially on GST.

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Dr. Hilda Raja
Dr. Hilda Raja
Dr. Hilda Raja was a PG level professor at Stella Maris College, Chennai. Post retirement, she worked with many NGOs and as a Development Consultant. She was nominated on the Advisory Committe of the CBCI (Catholic Bishops Conference of India ) for three years. Having studied throughout in Minority Institutions and reared in a Christian ethos, she is fully convinced that the Hindu soul is secular and Hindu Dharma is totally misunderstood by other religions. For her, Bharat and all that it holds is sacred.


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