Thursday 31 January 2013

I am not going to Supreme Court: Kamal Haasan

I am not going to Supreme Court: Kamal Haasan

Actor-filmmaker Kamal Haasan on Thursday said he is not moving to the Supreme Court to get his controversial film Vishwaroopam released in Tamil Nadu after the Madras High Court on Wednesday stayed the release of the film that ran into trouble over its alleged content that has been branded as anti-Muslim community.

"I am not approaching the Supreme Court," said Haasan, adding that talks are on for a settlement with the protesting Muslim groups.

Haasan would promote the film's Hindi version in Mumbai on Thursday.

Though after an emotional press conference Wednesday where he announced to leave India if required to live in a secular country, Kamal Haasan had agreed to edit out some scenes and words in the film even as the Madras High Court verdict came as a blow to him.

The film will not release in Tamil Nadu till Feb 6 after the stay order since the bench set aside the interim order by a single bench judge of the same court a day ago, apparently paving its release.

The Madras High Court on late Tuesday had lifted the ban on Vishwaroopam in Tamil Nadu. The verdict was passed by Justice K Venkataraman after a day-long hearing on Tuesday.

But the Tamil Nadu government appealed against the verdict in a double bench, defending the ban in order to maintain "communal harmony".

According to reports, the judge, who saw the film over the weekend earlier, had asked Hassan to explore the possibility of an amicable settlement with the government.

Kamal Haasan earlier on Wednesday said he would leave Tamil Nadu and India if required to stay in a secular place to just remain an artist who is godless.

"I want to stay in a secular state. I will find another state other than Tamil Nadu from Kashmir to Kerala to stay. If I do not find I will stay in another country which is secular," he said in an emotional press conference here, adding that he has mortgaged his entire property to the financier of the film and would lose it all.

"I want to be a secular man. I want to stay where these things do not touch me," he said. "M F Hussain-saab [late painter] had to go out of India for the same reason. I am just an artist. I am godless. I am fed up," he said.

"I shall wait for the afternoon judgement [a verdict in his favour has been challenged again in a higher bench of Madras High Court] but after this I think I will have to seek for a secular state to stay in from Kashmir to Kerala excluding Tamil Nadu. I will look for a place which would house an artist, I will pay for it. I know my art is still left and I can earn."

He said he will hopefully find another country which is secular to stay if he cannot find a place in India. "Nothing will change the fact that I am a Tamil and an Indian. Only my passport will change," he said.

"I wonder how one movie could knock this mighty nation's unity," he said.

He said nothing was clear to him why these things were happening to him and said the fact is that he was yet to get interim relief or order and film shows were stopped again.

"I believe that along with my Muslim friends I have been an instrument in a political game. I do not know who is playing it and I am not even hazarding a guess. The fact remains that my history has proven that I have been never leaning to the left or right," he said.

India's Censor Board chief Leela Samson said Kamal Haasan is being hounded since the film has been cleared by the board and only then it was set for release.

Information and broadcasting minister Manish Tiwari meanwhile has said on Thursday that the Cinematograph Act needed to be revisited.

"Time Cinematograph Act revisited to ensure implementational integrity certification decisions Otherwise each state would be it's own censor (sic)," Tewari tweeted.

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