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Kamal Haasan, movie politics, and Vishwaroopam
Kamal Hassan, the super star of the south, is right now facing trouble in respect of the release of his latest film, Vishwaroopam, which was cleared by the Censor Board for release on January 25 but which was banned by the Tamil Nadu government following protests by certain sections of the society, who alleged that the film showed Muslims in bad light. The Censor Board's verdict cannot be challenged by any state government.

But it seems that the state government took the plea that the release of the film may affect the law and order situation in the state. In the past on similar grounds when a movie was banned by a state government the Supreme Court ordered the release of the film.

Those commentators, who smell politics in any such decision taken, especially in a state having a former film star as Chief Minister, seem to think that the Jayalalitha government has deliberately banned the film so as to woo the Muslim vote bank in the state.

Interestingly enough, the Madras High Court, which had stayed the release of the film in connection with another case, vacated the stay order and the film was released on Tuesday. But on fresh representation from the state government, the court reimposed the ban and will give its final verdict on February 6. Till then Kamal Hasaan will postpone going to the Supreme Court. He has agreed to make certain cuts and Muslim critics are believed to have arrived at a settlement with the producer.

Earlier, so dejected was the film star that during a press conference, he said that he would leave the country if he fails to get justice over his controversial film Vishwaroopam. Haasan said, "I 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," he said, reported The Times of India.

Kamal Haasan added that, "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."

It is amazing why the Censor Board's certificate is being flouted. Way back in the 1960s, Mr. Morarji Desai was furious when told about some objectionable scenes in Raj Kapoor's Jis desh mein Ganga behti hai. He wanted to have those scenes deleted or banned. But he was told that since the censor board had passed the film, he could do just nothing in the matter till six months after which an application could be given for a review of the movie by the Censor Board. By then the film had celebrated its silver jubilees in several cities. But after six months, the film was again re-viewed by the censors and the objectionable scenes modified. Morarji was certainly more powerful than Jayalalttha. But those times were different. Politicians and ministers did not go out of the way to give vent to their fury over something they could not mandatorily challenge.

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