The Vijay starrer Mersal has a new set of detractors: doctors from the Indian Medical Association in Tamil Nadu have been sharing pirated links of the films on social media, reported the Times of India newspaper.
Directed by Atlee, Mersal was released on Wednesday across the South to packed theatres. Headlined by Vijay, the action drama attacks corruption in the medical sector. Indian Medical Association’s president TN Ravishankar’s idea of a protest: “...if we spread the movie links on webpages, it will hit their collections. I hope they will realise then.”
The association has posted links to a pirated copy of the film on social media platforms, with the following message.
“We have received that Mersal film has expressed opinion against medical community and doctors. It is unfortunate in our democratic set up to react and get a positive response. Hence we request you to boycott the film. Please make sure your relatives, friends, hospital employees boycott the film. This will go a long way in expressing our protest. Approaching the media and court will only result in publicity for the film which should not be done. (It is) an appeal from IMA Tamil Nadu to redeem our prestige and show our unity. Please see the movie on _____ and do not pay to see it. Hitting on the collection only will make them realise.”— Times of India.
Mersal, which stars the Tamil star in three roles, has opened to a reported Rs 43 crores worldwide on its opening day. The movie ran into a controversy soon after its release after the Tamil Nadu state president of the Bharatiya Janata Party asked for scenes critical the Goods and Services Tax and Narendra Modi’s pet project Digital India to be removed. The state BJP leader Tamilisai Soundararajan accused Vijay of spreading false information to enter politics. On Friday, the producers of the film bowed down to the censorship and decided to remove the scenes.
Several celebrities came to the film’s defence on Twitter. #MersalVsModi and #ISupportMersal trended for much of the day.
The film found support not only from Vijay fanatics, but also from followers of his rival, Ajith. “We may fight among ourselves, but if you try to separate us then it will not be tolerated,” said a tweet, which was carried along with a merged image of both the actors.