CHENNAI: Kamal Haasan’s ‘Vishwaroopam’, which has already faced a lot of trouble, has now been banned from being screened in the State of Tamil Nadu.
A few days ago, the Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam (TMMK) protested against Kamal Haasan’s ‘Vishwaroopam’ claiming that the film has depicted the Muslim community as “mindless fanatics”. The association called for a ban of the film, since the community claimed ‘Vishwaroopam’ would affect communal harmony.
TMMK made a demand to watch the film before it hits the theatres, to edit scenes which carry content that may hurt the sentiments of the community. Filmmaker Kamal Haasan, already dealing with the theatre owners protests against his novel DTH idea, announced that ‘Vishwaroopam’ would release on January 25.
Today, in a surprising move, the Tamil Nadu State Government ordered a halt on the screening of ‘Vishwaroopam’ on January 25, citing that the release date clashed with the celebration of ‘Milad un-Nabi’ by the Muslims, and that due to protests, the screening of the film may lead to a law and order situation.
Kamal Haasan, who is currently in the U.S. for ‘Vishwaroopam’s overseas release, is needless to say, reasonably angered.
Reportedly, with a budget of Rs 95 crore, ‘Vishwaroopam’ is Kamal Haasan’s most expensive film ever. The actor turned director obviously has a lot of faith in the film, however controversy after controversy seems to be thwarting him.
Kamal Haasan reacted with a, “I am not only hurt by these accusations of denigrating a community but my sensibilities are truly insulted. My statements in favour of the Muslim community have marked me as a sympathizer. I have always gone beyond the call of my duty as an actor to voice my opinion in favour of what was humane and civil. I have been part of an organization called ‘Harmony India’ which worked for Hindu Muslim amity.”
Haasan feels that the Government’s as well as the organization’s actions are completely unjustified. He adds, “I have been ruthlessly used as a vehicle by small groups who seek political profile. Icon bashing is a great way to be noticed when you are not one yourself. It is happening again and again.”
Haasan plans to seek legal recourse for the release of ‘Vishwaroopam’. “Now I will rely on law and logic to come to our support. This kind of cultural terrorism will have to stop,” confirms the filmmaker.
Bollywood filmmakers and actors have come out in support of Kamal Hassan on the social networking platform. Vishwaroopam’s current situation has led to the film and filmmaker’s name trending on Twitter. Here’s what some B-towners had to say:
Prakash Raj: BAN on Vishwaroopam. NOT FAIR. This cultural terrorism should stop. We should stand for the right to express. We are with you Kamal sir. When Tamil, Telugu and Hindi three censor boards of this democratic country has cleared Vishwaroopam. Where does this ban come from???
Spoke to distributors and people of Malaysia. It’s a Muslim country and the censor board has cleared Vishwaroopam, released the film today. People who saw the film in Malaysia say there is nothing against Muslims to worry. It’s a wonderful film by Kamal sir is someone listening?
Mahesh Bhatt: It clearly stated that once the Censor Board has cleared the film for public viewing, screening of the same cannot be prohibited. The Supreme Court order had quashed the decision of the Uttar Pradesh State Govt suspending the screening of the film ‘Aarakshan’ in UP.
Madhur Bhandarkar: I’m appalled by the TN Govt’s decision to ban Kamal Haasan’s Vishwaroopam. After the film has passed by the censor board. Not done!!!
Shirish Kunder: Kamal Haasan is no stranger to opposition in his creative endeavours.
Shekhar Kapur: For a man facing a ban on his film and loss of over 60cr, Kamal Haasan has the calm look of a man who completely who believes in what he is doing. I stand up for Kamal Haasan right to show the world Vishwaroopam and let the people decide, especially after Censor Board has passed the film. You?