Piracy
TN Producers’ Council president Vishal has minced no words in his attack on BJP’s H Raja.

The controversies around Vijay starrer Mersal only seem to be multiplying, thanks to the BJP in Tamil Nadu. In its attempt to lash out at the film, the central party has only made the already popular film, more popular. And the latest in this series is a gaffe by BJP leader H Raja, who admitted in a television interview to watching Mersal ‘on the net’. This confession to watching a pirated film has not gone down too well, especially with Vishal, the president of the TN Producers’ Council.

In an interview to Puthiya Thalaimurai, H Raja was asked by the interviewer Karthikeyan, “Did you watch Mersal?”

“Yes, I watched Mersal. On the net,” Raja replied.

“On the net?” a surprised interviewer confirmed, to which Raja nodded nonchalantly.

“The full movie?” the interviewer enquired.

“I didn’t watch the whole thing,” Raja replied.

“Did you watch the full movie or did you watch particular scenes?” the interviewer asked.

“Just particular scenes, because I got several phone calls about them. Therefore, to see what are the things that have affected people’s opinion… The scenes about which I got information, I saw,” H Raja said.

Slamming H Raja in no uncertain terms, Vishal released a statement against Raja’s tacit support of piracy.

“A national leader of a national party has publicly confessed to watching a newly released film, not in the theatre but illegally, on some website. This is worrying. Perchance, have governments decided to make the theft called piracy, legal? Which is why the doubt arises that perhaps the government has let the cinema industry, and the thousands of people who depend on it, die, and are watching this from the sides,” Vishal’s statement read.

“To H Raja: For a leader who's known to the public and is a public figure, don't you have any shame in admitting you saw a pirated film and tacitly supporting piracy?” Vishal further asked.

Slamming Raja further, Vishal wrote, “That a politician like you sees a pirated copy of a film is to me -- a law-abiding citizen, a hard working professional, and someone who takes a reasoned decision on any  issue -- astonishing. This is a very bad example. This has affected our hearts and minds strongly.”

“We demand you unconditionally apologise for your actions, and pledge to remove the problem of piracy and request the government to enact strict laws to eradicate piracy,” Vishal’s statement concluded.

Actor Parthiban, too, reacted on the issue on Twitter. “The Honourable Raja must lose some of his honour, if he has stealthily/illegally seen Mersal,” he tweeted.

Reacting to Vishal’s statement, H Raja told TNM, "Have i said I've watched the film on the net? No. I've only seen parts of the film that were shown to me - that are already circulating on the internet. What's so wrong about that?"