“Now In Villain I’ve Addressed The Meat Issue. So More Trouble For me,” Says Tamil Actor Vishal Krishna On Speaking Out Against The GST Dialogue In Mersal.
Your firm stand against the move to delete the ‘GST’ reference in the Vijay starrer Mersal has put you in the spotlight?
In a spot or in the spotlight(laughs)? No , but seriously. More people with a voice and that includes film personalities, need to speak out against government policies that don’t work. Checks and balances are important to every individual and every organization.There has to be accountability . We elect our government representatives for five years, that’s the problem. They are free to do what they want for five years. That’s where someone like me comes in .We have to speak up.
But look at the price you paid for your courage of conviction.You production office was raided a day after you spoke out?
Maybe we should give them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe the raid was just a routine action taken by the IT department and not related to my stance onMersal. However if this is what happens for speaking out then I should prepare myself for further attacks. Because this weekend in the new Mohanlal starrerVillain I’ve addressed the meat issue.
Oh oh now you will have the Gau Rakshaks trying to cow you down
(laughs) It is possible and I am prepared for it. Villain is my first film in Malayalam. I wanted to play a grey character for a long time.
So the hero of the moment is going to be the villain this weekend?
(laughs) I don’t quite see what is so heroic about standing up for what is right.We all need to do that.I’ve been questioning government policies regularly. By now my family and friends know I can’t be silenced on matters that affect society.And healthcare in our country which Vijay has spoken about in Mersal , is an issue that should worry all of us. The poor get no medical treatment.And why just the poor? Even the rich and the privileged suffer due to medical negligence. I lost my best friend to cancer due to a wrong diagnosis.
Did you speak out against the attempt to silence anti-government dialogues in Mersal because of your friendship with Vijay?
No it is something I’d have done for any of my colleagues. But yes, Vijay is a friend.We went to college together.But that is not the point. The point is, why act censorious when the CBFC has already passed the film and the portions you are now objecting to? To compound the absurdity we had a politician from the BJP proudly proclaiming he saw Mersal online. Apparently he didn’t know piracy is illegal. Or maybe he didn’t care. We can’t afford to have politicians setting such deplorable examples for the public.
So you feel Vijay was absolutely right in talking about it?
Why only Vijay or me? We all need to addess the problems that plague our society. It’s not about just one state in India or one artform—cinema. Voices need to be heard from every section of society.Why is it that when a politician suffers a little anxiety palpitation he is rushed to a 5-star medical centre while the poor die on the streets?
But when an actor speaks against socio-political inequity he is immediately trolled. Remember what happened to Aamir Khan when he spoke about his anxieties for his children?
Yes I remember that. But keeping quiet is not an option for me . It should not be an option for anyone , or any actor.It won’t do for an actor to say, ‘I’ve done my job on the sceen. What happens outside is not my problem.” If you have a voice I feel you must use it. Vijay has been addressing socio-political issues regularly in his cinema.
But what happens when you get targeted after speaking out ?
You face it. You face the backlash and the vendetta and the trolling. That’s it. You just have to speak our. Or there will be no accountability.To take an example, what happened to the cash worth Rs 570 crores that was seized in a bag in Tirupur? What happened to that money where did it go? Where does the taxpayers’ money go?
Speaking of tax, are okay you after the IT raid?
Oh yes. They said it was a TDS problem. Luckily my papers are all in order. So to those who want to silence me all I can say is, bring it on.