TMMK says not against Hassan but firm on demand for film ban
Chennai: Unmoved by Tamil superstar Rajnikanth's plea to help in release of Kamal Hassan's film "Vishwaroopam", a Muslim organisations on Friday said they remain steadfast on their demand for ban on its screening.
Insisting that they did not see Kamal Haasan as their "enemy", Tamil Nadu Muslim Munntera Kazhagam (TMMK), one of the 20-odd Muslim groups that are opposed to the film, replied to Rajnikanth saying they had remained patient for three months and had sought that the movie be screened for them first before its release.
Senior TMMK leader J M Ribayee recalled that during the violence that ensued after the Babri mosque demolition in 1992, Kamal Haasan had voiced concern for Muslims and had even registered his protest with then Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao against the violence.
"We have not forgotten anything. We are aware Kamal Haasan has love and brotherly affection towards Muslims.... Even now we don't see him as our enemy but are opposing the movie only due to the impact that it is going to create," he said in a statement responding to Rajnikanth's appeal.
Backing Kamal Haasan, Rajnikanth had appealed to his "Muslim brothers" to help him release the film with possible cuts without affecting the main plot, and that too after talks.
Ribayee said that the scenes in Vishwaroopam depicting "us are a matter of concern and it is shocking that Kamal Haasan has done so when we Muslims are already hurt over various issues across the globe," he said.
"In India, cinema's popularity can make someone Chief Minister or Opposition Leader," he said in an apparent reference to a host of political leaders including C N Annadurai, M G Ramachandran and J Jayalalithaa being at the helm at various periods.
Similarly, a particular community could also be portrayed as criminal in films and the actor-director had not realised this, Ribayee said, adding Rajnikanth should reconsider his support to his colleague.
Hailing Rajnikanth as a "spiritualistic" man who had equally been supportive of Muslims, especially during the 1998 Coimbatore blasts, Ribayee thanked him for his advice.