Kamal threatens to quit India, 'Vishwaroopam' ban stays

Chennai, Jan 30 (IANS) An emotional Kamal Hassan Wednesday threatened to quit India if the ban in Tamil Nadu on his controversial film "Vishwaroopam" wasn't lifted but the Madras High Court reimposed the ban.

As controversy swirled over the Rs.95 crore multilingual espionage thriller, the acclaimed actor said he had agreed to make cuts in the movie that some Muslim groups found objectionable.

Kamal, 58 and one of southern cinema's most successful stars, said if the ban on his Tamil-Telugu film was not lifted, he might have to look out for a "secular state" abroad.

Saying he was fed up with the opposition to the movie, Kamal said here: "If there is no secular state in India, I would go overseas. I think Tamil Nadu wants me out.

"M.F. Husain had to do it and now Haasan will have to do it. It's fine. What would change is my passport. I would still be an Indian.

"I have pledged all my property for the film. I have lost my house because of delay in (its) release," he said.

He said he had invested his lifetime's savings, including all his assets, on the film that has also been dubbed in Hindi and which has been released in the US and Canada.

Soon afterwards, he met Muslim leaders here and announced he was ready to make cuts said to be maligning India's largest religious minority.

"There is no (more) difference between me and my Muslim brothers. It is our duty to take care of them. There are four scenes that are being pointed out and I am willing to remove these scenes from the movie," he said.

The lavishly mounted film, which stars Kamal and is written, produced and directed by him, was banned by the Tamil Nadu government after some Muslim groups complained that it portrayed the community in poor light.

The film was to release Jan 25 in Tamil Nadu but saw the light of the day only in a few places in Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

It was banned in these places too after the first show. As the protests became vocal, it was also banned in Malaysia and Sri Lanka after two days of run. But the movie is now running in the other southern states.

Kamal said he was still trying to understand why "some members with strong political backing" were against his film.

"The film is running successfully in other states and the feedback from the audience has also been positive."

On Wednesday, the Madras High Court overturned Tuesday's single bench ruling revoking the ban on "Vishwaroopam", which revolves around the story of an Al Qaeda plot in the US and an Indian couple.

The high court bench chaired by Justice Dharma Rao asked the filmmaker and the Tamil Nadu government to respond by Monday.

The film fraternity are backing Kamal and his film, cleared by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).

CBFC chairperson Leela Samson said Wednesday that the ban was "an infringement on freedom of expression". "This is hounding of an artist, an icon of Tamil Nadu," Samson told CNN-IBN.

Said Actor Siddharth: "What a sad day. What a horrible week. Taliban Tamil Nadu."

Director Mahesh Bhatt said Kamal was a victim of state terrorism.

As Kamal's critics and fans took to the streets, sporadic violence was reported in Tamil Nadu.

Miscreants attacked with petrol bombs a theatre planning to screen "Vishwaroopam" in Ramanathapuram, 310 km from here. Tyres were set on fire outside a Chennai theatre.

In Chennai, DMK chief M. Karunanidhi wondered whether the ban was linked to Kamal's comment obliquely supporting Finance Minister P. Chidambaram as India's prime minister.

In New Delhi, Congress spokesman P.C. Chacko said Kamal's threat to leave India "was an unfortunate statement".

--

Did you know that you can get stories like this on the Yahoo mail app?
Download it here.

Yahoo Cricket

Latest News

  • Ranveer is now calmer, less anxious: Anushka Sharma

    Mumbai, May 30 (IANS) Actress Anushka Sharma, who worked with Ranveer Singh in the 2010 film "Band Baaja Baaraat", says he is now a calmer and less anxious person as compared to his earlier days. "When we worked together for 'Band Baaja Baaraat', Ranveer used to be very anxious and hyper on set. …

  • Tabu gets into tough inspector look for 'Drishyam'

    New Delhi, May 30 (IANS) After garnering plaudits for playing a mother in "Haider", versatile actress Tabu will be back on the silver screen with more power in a police officer's avatar in "Drishyam". …

  • Tough job to sell a film, says Vinod Kapri

    Mumbai, May 30 (IANS) Vinod Kapri, whose debut feature film "Miss Tanakpur Haazir Ho", which he has directed as well as produced, says it's a tough job to sell a movie and get support from big banners. "It's a very tough job to sell a film... to take it to the big production house as well as the audiences," Kapri said. When he approached Fox Star Studios and asked officials there to watch the film, "they organised a screening and film got good response". …

  • 'Chaar Cutting': The shorts could have been more potent (IANS Movie Review, Rating - **1/2)

    Rating: **1/2 Released under the PVR Director's Rare banner, "Chaar Cutting" is a collection of four indie shorts, assembled by Jamuura Talkies in association with Celebstall. "Manila Running", the first short, begins with a hassled tourist Jacques in a taxi looking for an address, a place he is going to for some "unknown personal reason". Shot using a hand-held camera, the camera work is amateurish and the performances are mediocre. …

  • Kangana Ranaut inaugurates first Gap store in India

    New Delhi, May 30 (IANS) American multinational clothing and accessories brand Gap made its way to the Indian market on Saturday with the launch of its first store, inaugurated by actress Kangana Ranaut amidst a huge crowd in a mall here. It has come into the market via a partnership with Arvind Lifestyle Brands Ltd. The brand's spokesperson credited Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan for popularising Gap in the country through the 1998 film "Kuch Kuch Hota Hai". Talking about the reason …

  • Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch Lists For $100 Million
    Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch Lists For $100 Million

    Hollywood’s King of Pop Michael Jackson’s dream house in California is being listed and openly going on the market for above $100 million approx. The 2700-acre property that once had amusement park rides and animals in it, has now been cleared out seeking for potential buyers. Michael Jackson had bought the ranch for an amount of $19.5 million in the year 1987 and continued to live there till 2005. Neverland includes a swimming pool, a barbecue area, basketball and tennis court and a movie …

  • Dharmendra Fit And Discharged From Hospital
    Dharmendra Fit And Discharged From Hospital

    Dharmendra who was admitted to Breach Candy Hospital after he complained of weakness and shoulder pain is all fine and healthy again. Hema Malini the dream girl tweeted on her husband’s health status saying, “Ok! Best news of the day! Dharamji is ok now & back home. Thank God!” The gorgeous actress Hema Malini is all happy and sound after Dharmendra’s discharge. …

  • Here’s Why Kangana Ranaut Is Hurt By Deepika Padukone!
    Here’s Why Kangana Ranaut Is Hurt By Deepika Padukone!

    Bollywood’s Queen Kangana Ranaut is not the type to play word games, we all know that. This is shocking because the way her recently released film Tanu Weds Manu Returns is doing at the Box Office, the actress should be happy and celebrating the success, but instead Kangana Ranaut is hurt. If you remember well, Kangana Ranaut was there for Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone, who was having a time of her life. …

Loading...