Amidst controversies, Kamal Haasan releases ‘Vishwaroop’

Updated: Feb 01, 2013, 08:59 AM IST

Zeenews Bureau

Mumbai: Amidst the controversies that surround Kamal Haasan’s ‘Vishwaroopam’, the Hindi version of the same film titled ‘Vishwaroop’ releases today.

The veteran flew to Mumbai to release the spy-thriller that has sparked off a huge debate involving Ministers, commoners and people from the film fraternity.

Haasan has the support of his colleagues and is all set to see the Hindi version of ‘Vishwaroopam’ hitting the silver screens today.

The actor has categorically said that the film does not show any community in bad light and that every Indian would be proud of the piece of art.

In his statements Kamal said, “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 further said, “If there are good Muslims they are Indian Muslims. If they are bad, they are terrorists. Why should I pay terror white? Islam is not targeting me. It is politics, it is not religion. This incident was upsetting and downright insulting. Don`t want any of us to face such problems in future. I am not alone in the fight. I have received a lot of support from Muslim community and film fraternity. It is a request to India, my Muslim and Jain brothers that we have a lot more work to do. For me there is no religion, I am a rational.”

“Even yesterday I was calm, I`m only hurt, I`m still hurt. Talks are still underway. I am not moving the Supreme court," said Haasan while addressing reporters.

The Madras High Court Wednesday had given its verdict to re-impose the ban on the controversial spy-thriller even after the actor had held a meeting with Muslim leaders and had agreed to remove objectionable content from the film.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari also felt the need to amend the Cinematograph Act 1952 and had tweeted, “Time Cinematograph Act revisited to ensure implementation integrity certification decisions Otherwise each state would be its own censor (sic).”

Many from the film fraternity have extended support to the actor. And so has Censor Board chief Leela Samson. Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde too had said that artists do need freedom of expression.

"We are a free society. There is freedom of expression. There is liberty for artists. We have a Constitution," Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde told reporters here.

The Madras High Court stayed the release of the film following the Tamil Nadu government’s challenge against an earlier verdict that had deemed the movie fit to be released.

In the meanwhile, the actor had held a meeting with Muslim leaders to arrive at a consensus. He has agreed to edit objectionable content from the film. But, the film couldn’t get a green signal from the High Court.

Reacting to the ban on the film, Censor Board chief Leela Samson had said, “Once we have certified the film, there is no reason to doubt the decision,” said a visibly unhappy Leela Samson to a leading news channel and added, “This is a case of hounding an artist; that too an icon of Tamil Nadu.”

Confirming that the Censor Board will take up the matter, Samson said the government’s accusation “wasn’t short of abuse” towards the Board that had certified the film: “When you call us incompetent, suggest bribery – it is inexcusable.”

Earlier, Kamal Haasan said that he would leave the country if he fails to get justice over his controversial film ‘Vishwaroopam’. Speaking to the press here, the actor apologized for causing inconvenience and wondered why at all there is a controversy regarding the film.

The Censor Board had cleared the film for its release but the Tamil Nadu government had imposed a ban on the same following protests by certain sections of the society, who alleged that the film showed Muslims in bad light. However, the Madras High Court had stayed the ban on the film Tuesday.

Addressing the media, Haasan said, “Wonder how one movie could rock a nation’s unity. I shall wait for the judgment but after this I will have to seek a secular state for a house. I have pledged all what I have and if the film doesn’t release, I will end up suffering a huge loss. Even if I become shelter less, I know there are people who will help me. From Kashmir to Kerala, I have a number of homes to call my own. But despite all that, if I am left with no place to stay, then I will have no choice but to leave the country. But nothing can ever change the fact that I am an Indian.”

“My father believed in humanity above all faith and had taught me not to hurt anyone’s sentiments. I don’t follow any religion, for I too believe in humanity. But I will certainly not let anyone take me for granted,” added the veteran.