Vishal Krishna: Now In  Villain I’ve Addressed The Meat  Issue. So More Trouble For me!

“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.

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