Jaipur: Spiritual leader Gurmeet Ram Rahim's movie 'MSG – The Warrior: Lion Heart' that claims to be full of romance, action and high drama has been exempted from entertainment tax by the Rajasthan government for carrying a social message. The movie is produced, directed and acted in by Gurmeet Ram Rahim.
Earlier, movies in the MSG series were rejected by the state government from tax exemption, a senior official in the government confirmed. Coincidentally, two days ago the spiritual leader carried out a cleanliness drive in the city as part of Swachh Bharat. A big chunk of the workforce needed for cleaning the city on that day came with Gurmeet Ram Rahim's support. A day after he left along with his team, the drive fell flat.
On Tuesday, the finance department exempted Rahim's upcoming movie from entertainment tax from October 7 till March 31, 2017. In its orders, the department said, "Government being of the opinion that reasonable grounds exist for doing so in public interest, hereby remits entertainment tax payable by the proprietor of the cinema hall or multiplex for admission to the exhibition of the Hindi film 'MSG – The Warrior Lion Heart".
As per the provisions, if the government finds any movie veneered with social message or showcasing Rajasthan, it can waive off the entertainment tax. However, officials failed to explain what social message the movie contains and declined to answer if they had watched the entire movie or just its teaser.
"It was a policy decision taken up by higher ups in the government. As for the social message, each Indian movie is made with some social message," said an official, who was part of the screening committee that approved the tax exemption.
Officials from the police department washed their hands off the issue on being asked about the social message in the movie. "We were mandated to watch it to ensure that there was no controversy in it as far as law and order was concerned," said a senior state police officer. The promotional trailer of the movie assures to serve its audiences romance apart from action and high drama and finally an amazing twist in the tale. As for the social message, the movie's promo claims it is a story about a medieval warrior who fights for the honour of his land and the dignity of women.