In a state where the line between cinema and politics has always been blurred, Tamil romantic hero Vijay has been no exception as far as political controversy is concerned. It has, however, usually been his father who has spoken on his behalf. Vijay’s own voice has rarely been heard, which is why many i the state have remain unconvinced by indications and allegations, over the years, that he might enter politics.
Vijay’s latest film, Mersel, has come under attack from the BJP over dialogues and scenes criticising the GST policy and highlighting children’s death in a Gorakhpur hospital. BJP national secretary H Raja has attributed communal motives to the film and was the first to draw attention to Vijay’s rarely used Christian surname, Joseph. BJP state president Tamilisai Soundararajan, for his part, has alleged that the film’s dialogues show “political motives” against the NDA government at the Centre.
While Vijay, 43, has been silent as ever, his father S A Chandrasekhar, a producer and writer, has hit back. “Politicians are so insecure these days; they no longer have magnanimity, and they lack basic wisdom,” Chandrasekhar told The Indian Express. “My son’s name is C Joseph Vijay. In his school certificates, I left his caste and religion columns blank. Even if he is a a practising Christian, why does that matter to a national leader?” Chandrasekhar said.