Why ‘Mersal’, Not ‘Indu Sarkar’? Bhandarkar Questions Duplicity
While Bollywood remains silent on the Mersal controversy, Indu Sarkar director Madhur Bhandarkar can’t help but recount his own painful experience in the light of the matter, given the cuts he was forced to make in the final version of his film, that is based on the Emergency. The filmmaker even questioned Rahul Gandhi on Twitter asking why he didn’t stand up for Indu Sarkar, whereas he’s criticising the BJP government and PM Modi quite sharply now.
Bhandarkar also called out the duplicity in the country’s politics and politicians, blaming all those who didn’t say a word to defend him during the release of Indu Sarkar, since it didn’t suit their agenda then, but are being vocal for Mersal, demanding that it’s criticism of BJP’s demonetisation and GST be retained in the film, as it works in their favour now.
In the controversial scene in Mersal, the character Vijay plays in the film can be seen questioning why medicines have a GST of 12%, while alcohol, which kills many, doesn’t. The actor also compares India to Singapore, which has 7% GST and offers “free medical care”. The scene makes an obvious reference to the Gorakhpur tragedy in which several children died due to the lack of oxygen cylinders.
Bhandarkar is getting some flak on Twitter for his timely angst, since the basic difference between Indu Sarkar and Mersal is that while in the former the censor board had prescribed 13 cuts without any government intervention post its theatrical release, in Mersal’s case however, the government is demanding scenes to be deleted despite the go-ahead given by the censor board, after the film hit theatres on October 18.