Tamil actor Vishal has not taken too kindly to corruption in real life and accused the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) of extorting Rs 6.5 lakh from him, in order to greenlight the Hindi version of his film ‘Mark Antony’.
This was done in two parts as it was Rs 3 lakh for screening and Rs 3.5 lakh for just giving it certification, he said.
Lodging his complaint, the actor-director has issued a strongly worded statement. He appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde to immediately crack down on this whole corruption scandal.
The ‘Thaamirabharani’ actor-director took to his X handle, formerly called Twitter, and wrote: “#Corruption being shown on silver screen is fine. But not in real life. Can’t digest. Especially in government offices. And even worse happening in #CBFC Mumbai office. Had to pay 6.5 lacs for my film #MarkAntonyHindi version. 2 transactions. 3 Lakhs for screening and 3.5 Lakhs for certificate. Never faced this situation ever in my career”.
He added: “Had no option but to pay the concerned mediator #Menaga coz too much was at stake since the movie released today. Bringing this to the notice of Hon Chief Minister of Maharashtra and my Hon PM Narendra Modiji. Doing this is not for me but for future producers. NOT HAPPENING. My hard earned money gone for corruption ??? No way. Evidence down for all to hear. Hope truth prevails as always. GB (sic)”.
Detailing the evidence, he tagged CM @mieknathshinde and PM @narendramodi presenting the figures, names , bank account and other details in his post:
He further mentioned, “3 Lakhs sent to -M. RAJAN
-AC No. 168100050300500
– Tamilnad Mercantile Bank Ltd
– Sion Branch
– IFSC CODE – TMBL0000168
3.5 Lakhs sent to – JEEJA RAMDAS
AC No. 7712615683
Kotak Mahendra Bank
Andheri East Branch
IFSC CODE – KKBK0000651″.
His post was accompanied by a video in which the actor said: “Namaskar, my name is Vishal and my film ‘Mark Antony’ has just hit North India today. But I’m not here to talk about my film although the issue is directly connected to it, hence I had to mention it. There is a huge scam going on in the CBFC where they asked me for Rs. 6.5 lakh in total to issue the certificate for its North Indian release”.
He went on to say, “This is very sad news, something that should not have happened and I appeal to Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde and our Honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take swift action against this. This is a lot of money, and it is my hard earned money. I had to give this sum because I had no choice, but I give my sincerest appeal to the higher authorities to take immediate action because this cannot be tolerated”.
Detailing the whole thing that transpired, the ‘Laththi’ actor mentioned the name of the person who asked him for the money to give him the green light, saying that Rs 3 lakh was for screening and Rs 3.5 for issuing the certificate.
The actor said, “My Prime Minister has always stood against corruption and I appeal to him to take this matter very seriously. If this could happen to me and then I am sure this is happening to others as well. Please put a whole enquiry against the corruption going on in the Central Board of Film Certification.”
Concluding his statement, he said, “I thank you sincerely sir. Vande Mataram, Jai Hind.”
The Central government immediately took notice of this with the Ministry for Information and Broadcasting issuing a statement on their X, stating:
“The issue of corruption in CBFC brought forth by actor @VishalKOfficial is extremely unfortunate. The Government has zero tolerance for corruption and strictest action will be taken against anyone found involved. A senior officer from the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting has been deputed to Mumbai to conduct an inquiry today itself.”
Concluding, the MIB wrote: “We request everyone to cooperate with the Ministry, by providing information about any other instance of harassment by CBFC at email@example.com @producers_guild @motionpictures”