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HindustanTimes Mon,22 Dec 2014

Will wait for court verdict on Vishwaroopam: Kamal Haasan

Agencies  Chennai, January 30, 2013
First Published: 15:26 IST(30/1/2013) | Last Updated: 20:49 IST(30/1/2013)

Actor-filmmaker Kamal Haasan on Wednesday said that he will wait for Madras high court to pronounce its verdict on his film Vishwaroopam and urged his fans to maintain calm, reports said.

Haasan also said that Vishwaroopam is just a film and not worth a public agitation and added that his emotional outburst in the morning was out of anger.

Screening of Kamal Haasan's Vishwaroopam in Tamil Nadu was deferred again with the Madras high court on Wednesday setting aside a single judge's order giving the green signal for the release even as the actor agreed to delete certain scenes considered offensive by Muslim outfits.

The relief given to the actor by Justice K Venkataraman on late Tuesday night was shortlived as a division bench comprising acting Chief Justice Elipe Dharma Rao and Aruna Jagadeesan quashed it, effectively stalling its release on Wednesday.

The actor had planned to move an appeal in the Supreme Court against the high court order.

The single judge had granted interim stay of operation of the ban order imposed by the state government prohibiting the film's release across the state after protests by Muslim outfits, who claimed that it showed them in negative light.

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The court order came on an appeal by the government against the interim order of the single judge.

Even as the judicial proceedings were on Wednesday, Haasan said the issue had been "amicably resolved" during his talks with some Muslim leaders, after he agreed to delete "certain scenes and words" relating to the Holy Quran.

Talking to the press in Chennai, Haasan said, his 'Muslim family' reached out to him with a list of objectionable scene which he has agreed to delete.

"The film is not anti-Indian Muslims and it is pro-Indian Muslims. There is no difference between me and my Muslim brothers," the actor, who spent nearly Rs. 100 crore on the multilingual spy thriller, said.

Upset over the hurdles caused by the ban on the release of the movie, Haasan, in an emotional outburst, said Tamil Nadu does not want him to stay in the state and he might seek a "secular" place in the country or overseas.

Haasan requested the Tamil Nadu govrnment to maintain law and order in the state after there were reports of protests and violence outside theatres in Tamil Nadu.

Petrol bombs were reportedly hurled at two theatres in Ramanathapuram district which were to screen Vishwaroopam.

During the hearing on Wednesday, Advocate General A Navaneethakrishnan said the single judge had passed the order without taking into account the fact that the petition (of Kamal Haasan) was not maintainable in law.

The AG also said the judge has not considered the 'important aspect' that the order passed under Sec 144 cannot be assailed by the petitioner as it was done after elaborate and detailed consideration for maintaining public order, preserving public peace, public safety and communal harmony.

The film, which was initially in trouble due to Haasan's tussle with theatre owners, was slated to release on January 25.

A report from Ramanathapuram said a masked gang hurled petrol bombs and pelted stones at two theatres, damaging glass panes and furniture, while Haasan's fans staged protests at Erode and Theni outside theatres, demanding that the movie be screened.

In Delhi, information and broadcasting miniter Manish Tewari said the high court should consider the matter "holistically".

The AG told the court that the single judge had not considered the 'prospective implications' that would affect public peace, public order, public safety and tranquility consequent to release of the film.

He also said the Judge had 'not at all considered' the fact that several countries like Singapore, Sri Lanka, UAE, and Malaysia have temporarily banned screening of the film, as it was likely to hurt sentiments of certain sections of society and cause communal disharmony.

Earlier, Haasan said, "When MF Hussain can do it, Kamal Haasan will do it... I am fed up. I am an artiste. After that, I will have to seek a secular state for my stay... Secular state from Kashmir to Kerala, excluding Tamil Nadu... Tamil Nadu wants me out."

Haasan said, "...But I believe that along with my Muslim friends, I have been instrument in a political game. I don't know who is playing and not even hazarding the guess. The fact remains that my history has proven that I have been neither leaning to the left or right but trying to maintain my position," Haasan said.

He said he would wait for the judgement of the Madras high court where the Tamil Nadu government today moved swiftly to file an appeal against the interim relief given by the single judge.

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The actor said he had pledged all his property to make the multi-lingual movie. He said he might lose his house because of the losses incurred by the delay in the release of the movie.

In a show of solidarity, leading film personalities, including Sivakumar, Prabhu and actress Kushboo called on the actor at his residence, where a large number of Haasan's fans gathered.

Haasan, 58, described the ban as "cultural terrorism" and added: "Any neutral and patriotic Muslim will surely feel pride on seeing my film. It was designed for that purpose."

Vishwaroopam was banned from being screened in Kerala, parts of Hyderabad, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh on January 25, soon after the first show.

The film resumed playing in as many as 40 theatres amidst police security in Karnataka Tuesday morning. It was released with the tagline included in the credits, "All Muslims are not terrorists and the characters depicted in this film are imaginary".

Distributors and theatre owners who had to take off the film fear losses of up to Rs. 30 crore and above.

With PTI inputs

Vishwaroopam a virtual hit as online downloads soar
Meanwhile, Vishwaroopam is already a hit in the virtual world. Even as doubts persist over the mass release of the film fans have turned to pirated versions to quench their thirst for entertainment. Website thepiratebay had already given away the film to 397 takers while another 111 were seeking it at the time of going to press. Online movie watching website teentz.com has around 12,168 views so far. FULL STORY 

Banned success? Kamal Haasan's Vishwaroopam is a hit in US
Kamal Haasan's fans across the globe are doing their bit to stand by him. Vishwaroopam reportedly earned $634,912 in the US. Trade analyst Taran Adarsh wrote on his Twitter account, " Tamil film #Vishwaroopam *opening weekend* UK  95,676 [Rs 81.23 lacs] on 19 screens ... USA $634,912 [Rs 3.43 cr] on 44 screens." Kamal Haasan's controversial film Vishwaroopam was finally released on Tuesday in Karnataka after the state police gave an assurance of providing adequate security for the multi-lingual film. COMPLETE COVERAGE


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