'Vishwaroopam' controversy: Kamal Haasan thanks CM, rules out SC move for now
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"I thank the Chief Minister. I am grateful to her. She has been kind enough to offer her help... now that she has helped us why should we go (to the Supreme Court)," he told a press conference in Mumbai after the premiere of the Hindi version of the film releasing tomorrow.
The 58-year-old actor was asked whether he would move the apex court against the Madras High Court order, staying release of the film that was banned by the state government in wake of objections raised by some Muslim outfits.
Breaking her silence a week after the ban exploded into a national controversy, Jayalalithaa said in Chennai this morning that she has no "personal grudge" against Haasan or "personal interest" in the ban.
She offered to facilitate an amicable settlement if Haasan and Muslim groups come together.
Finding fault with Haasan, she said government had made a request to him to show the movie to a few representatives of the Muslim organisations. "Had he done it, the problem would have been avoided. But he avoided showing the movie."
"If Muslim organisations and Kamal Haasan are ready to sit down and work out an amicable agreement, if he agrees to delete certain portions that are objectionable, then the decks would be cleared for screening of the movie, then Tamil Nadu government will do that to facilitate such an amicable settlement."
M H Jawahirullah, MLA, who raked up objections to some scenes in the film as hurting Muslim sentiments, welcomed the Chief Minister's statement and said he and 23 other Muslim outfits were ready to engage with the actor if a tripartite meeting is called.
In the press conference, Haasan said he would wait for the Madras High Court order on February 4. "We have to respect the law," he said.
The objections and the controversy surrounding the film "is politics" and there is nothing religious about it, he added.
However, Haasan did not go into details whether he would engage with Muslim outfits as suggested by the Chief Minister.
Elaborating on his earlier remark, Haasan said he was "seriously" thinking of leaving the country if this kind of row erupted again.
"In anger...in emotional outburst I would have said that I will leave the country. It does not mean I will do it... I enjoy the glory and fame. But if this happens again, I will seriously think of leaving. I am serious," Haasan told reporters.
He had made an impassioned plea seeking the release of the film in his home state Tamil Nadu, saying that he would go abroad in search of a 'secular state' where he would be allowed to continue pursuing his art.
When asked whether the controversy on the film will help it at the box office, Haasan said, "It is very silly to say I got good publicity; India did not get good publicity. What is the use of me getting good publicity when India's name is being dragged in the muck.
"I don't want any more squabbling. This is gruelling, troublesome and insulting. Not only for me, but to several others associated with this movie. This kind of squabbling is not going to take us anywhere," Haasan said.
Haasan said that the delay in the release may have cost him anything between 30 to 60 crores.
The film was earlier slated to hit the screens on January 25.
Haasan sought to know why he was being accused of hatred. "I mean no harm. The film is not about hurting Muslims. The good Muslims in the films are Indians and bad Muslims are terrorists who are not from India. How can I paint terrorist...terrorism white."
Haasan thanked his fans and "film fraternity", saying, "They came forward to support the film. I must thank all of them. Javed saab (Javed Akhtar) came forward, although he was not a part of the film. Amitji (Amitabh Bachchan), Aamir and Salman they supported me."
Salman requested his fans to stand outside the cinemas and demand to see 'Vishwaroopam' while Askhay Kumar termed the ban as "sad".
"It is just a movie and there are only two kinds of movies - good or bad, hit and flop - and only people who decide are the ones who buy tickets. Hope each and every fan of his supports him like I am doing and want all my fans to fully support him," Salman posted on Twitter.
Akshay Kumar hoped that the actor will find a solution soon while Anupam Kher called the ban "ridiculous".
Other members of the film fraternity like Rajinikanth, Sivakumar, Prabhu, Arvind Swamy, actress Kushboo, Shah Rukh Khan, Mahesh Bhatt and Karan Johar have already spoken in support of Haasan.
Anupam Kher, Akshay Kumar support Kamal Haasan on movie ban
Bollywood superstar Akshay Kumar and veteran actor Anupam Kher today supported Kamal Haasan over 'Vishwaroopam' controversy with Kher terming the movie ban "ridiculous".
Tamil Nadu banned Haasan's film for two-weeks in the state, citing law and order problems following allegations by Muslim outfits that it portrayed the community in negative light.
Haasan is awaiting the Madras High court verdict on the Tamil version of the movie before deciding the next course of action. Hindi version hits theatres tomorrow.
Recalling the problems during the releae of his production 'Oh My God', Akshay said, "I had to talk to various organizations and make them understand that the movie is not against God. I think its absolutely useless that we have to do something like this."
The actor, in the capital to promote his upcoming movie 'Special 26' with Kher and director Neeraj Pandey, however, hoped that the matter would be resolved amicably.
"There is a Censor Board for this and if government doesn't believe in the Board then they should appoint some other people. It is sad but one day it will come clean," Akshay said.
Kher, a former Censor Board chief, said the ban was unacceptable and Board should be the final authority in clearing a film.
"It is absolutely ridiculous... I have been a former Censor Board chief and we need to respect its verdict. If the board has cleared a movie we don't need to go to 50 other organisations for clearance. I think we are going back to the dark ages.
"A movie shouldn't be affected just because some 20 people are shouting slogans. This is appeasement politics. Government needs to be told that this is not acceptable," Kher said.
Pandey, who is returning to direction after the success of his debut 'A Wednesday', echoed Kher's sentiments.
"The temptation is always to stand by the film you have made but we need to give in and make changes. I also feel some people are just waiting for such opportunities for political mileage," Pandey said.
Pawar upset over Kamal Haasan's plight
"Something is wrong in our system. No Indian should feel that he has no faith in this country."
This was how an upset NCP Chief Sharad Pawar reacted to actor Kamal Haasan's plans of self-exile from the country following problems over the release of his film 'Vishwaroopam'.
In an emotional outburst, Haasan had yesterday said that Tamil Nadu does not want him to stay in the state and he might seek a "secular" place in the country or overseas, citing M F Husain's exile.
Madras High Court had stayed the screening of his Tamil film "Vishwaroopam" in the state even as he agreed to remove certain scenes.
Haasan had said that he had pledged all his property to make the trilingual movie, estimated to have cost around Rs 100 crore. He said he might lose his house because of the losses incurred by the delay in the release of the movie.
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