Jaya explains 'Vishwaroopam' ban, Kamal thanks her

Chennai/Mumbai, Jan 31 (IANS) A day before the Hindi version of "Vishwaroopam" is set for release, actor-producer Kamal Haasan Thursday thanked Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa after she explained at length why she imposed a 15-day ban on the espionage thriller.

The versatile actor told the media that although he was angry when he threatened Wednesday to quit India, he would certainly leave the country if similar protests enveloped his movies.

Kamal Haasan's brother Chandra Haasan as well as Tamil filmmaker Ameer Sultan meanwhile met Muslim leaders in Chennai, a day after Kamal Haasan promised to cut parts of the Tamil-Telugu film that critics say portray the community in poor light.

There was a ray of hope for the Rs.95 crore film's release in Tamil Nadu after Jayalalithaa made it clear that "Vishwaroopam" was banned only due to fears of violent protests and not because of any grudge against the actor-producer Kamal Haasan.

"I have no personal grudge, no personal interest in banning the movie," the actor-turned-chief minister said, adding she knew nothing of the movie until it became controversial.

Reeling out statistics, she said it would have been impossible to provide police protection to all 524 cinemas in Tamil Nadu where the multilingual film was to be released Jan 25 after Muslims announced a wave of protests.

She said her government could have banned the movie completely but it banned it only for 15 days so that tempers could cool down and both Kamal Haasan and Muslim groups could reach an agreement.

She pointed out that it had also been also banned in Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Singapore. "Was I responsible for all that?"

She said Muslim leaders had told her that they were ready to accept the film now as Kamal Haasan had agreed to delete some portions they had found objectionable on religious grounds.

"If (Muslim) leaders and Kamal Haasan work out an amicable agreement, the government will do everything possible to facilitate that ... and the deck will be cleared for screening the movie."

Kamal Haasan has written, produced and directed the movie and also features in the title role in "Vishwaroopam", which revolves around an Al Qaeda plot and an Indian couple in the US.

But the chief minister found fault with Kamal Haasan for not showing the movie early on to the Muslim critics.

In Mumbai, a visibly grateful Kamal Haasan thanked Jayalalithaa for her intervention and insisted there were no "bad Muslims" in his film that has already been released in the US and Canada.

It is also being screened in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala, where it was taken off the theatres earlier. The Hindi version, "Vishwaroop", will hit the cinemas Friday.

"I have not shown bad Muslims in my film. The good Muslims in my film are Indian Muslims and the bad ones are terrorists," Kamal Haasan said.

He added: "In anger and in an emotional outburst I had said I will leave the country. But if this happens again, I will seriously leave.

"I was angry (when I spoke earlier) and I am still angry," he added.

He thanked his fans, the media and the film industry for supporting him, and said the delay in the movie's release had caused a loss of Rs.30-60 crore.

In Uttar Pradesh, however, the ruling Samajwadi Party said it won't let "Vishwaroop" to release in the state until it ceased to be controversial.

The row over "Vishwaroopam" took a political turn after Jayalalithaa threatened to sue DMK leader M. Karunanidhi for alleging that she had once written against Kamal Haasan to then chief minister M.G. Ramachandran.

In response, Karunanidhi said he stood by his charge and would present the "evidence" in court.

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Duminy steals first win for Delhi

Duminy steals first win for Delhi

Furious fifties by Duminy and Dinesh Karthik end a long losing streak for the Daredevils. More »

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

Royal Challengers overcame a stutter to cruise to the small target they were set by Mumbai Indians. More »

Glenn Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Glenn Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Glenn Maxwell seems to project an icy disdain when at the crease. Match situations rarely faze him and the bubble in which he plays excludes everyone … More »

Srinivasan can attend BCCI meeting

Srinivasan can attend BCCI meeting

His status as president of TNCA makes him eligible to attend the Working Committee meeting on Sunday. More »

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

Kevin Pietersen's hopes of reviving his international career appeared to end Saturday when ECB managing director Paul Downton said there was 'no way back'… More »

[REWIND] The world record that nearly wasn't

[REWIND] The world record that nearly wasn't

Twenty years ago this week, Brian Lara became Test cricket's highest scorer, but he almost didn't make it. More »

Moores gets second stint as England coach

Moores gets second stint as England coach

In a two-year spell from 2007 to 2009, the 51-year-old Moores led England in seven Test series. More »

Bangladesh senior players to see shrink

Bangladesh senior players to see shrink

Bangladesh's senior players will have three sessions with a psychological skill development coach later this month More »

BCCI is not anybody’s property — Dalmiya

BCCI is not anybody’s property — Dalmiya

Dalmiya feels that Srinivasan’s ‘power hungry’ attitude isn’t helping matters. More »

KP ridicules idea of day-night Tests

KP ridicules idea of day-night Tests

Kevin Pietersen has ridiculed the idea of day-night Test cricket, saying the game would be so different to proper Test cricket that we will need a whole… More »

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

The bowlers restricted Hyderabad to 133 for 6 before Rahane and Binny took Rajasthan over the line. More »

Tough for bowlers: Saeed Ajmal

Tough for bowlers: Saeed Ajmal

The 36-year-old believes the T20 format and rule changes in 50-over matches have made a real difference. More »

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

The Kings XI batsman blasted a 43-ball 95 to help his team pull off a massive chase against Chennai Super Kings. More »

BCCI members want independent probe

BCCI members want independent probe

The board members are realising after the Supreme Court's observations that something has to be done — IS Bindra More »

'BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srini'

'BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srini'

Two former BCCI presidents, Shashank Manohar and Jagmohan Dalmiya, have reacted strongly to the news of the BCCI calling an emergent meeting on Sunday… More »

Delhi look for first points against confident Kolkata

Delhi look for first points against confident Kolkata

Preview — The threat of Sunil Narine looms large again. More »

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Preview — Given the firepower in both line-ups, Dubai crowd may see another high-scorer More »

Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj Singh was hardly convincing to begin with against Delhi, but a big dose of crowd support and a helping of poor bowling meant he had the opportunity… More »

Stressed Trott stands down again

Stressed Trott stands down again

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Friday confirmed that batsman Jonathan Trott is to take another break from all cricket with immediate eff… More »

PCB starts another coach hunt

PCB starts another coach hunt

The PCB has decided to not extend the contracts of head coach Moin Khan, fielding coach Shoaib Mohammad and batting consultant Zaheer Abbas, and has invited… More »

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

England all-rounder Ben Stokes admits he must keep his anger under control if he is to end his international exile. More »

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Yuvraj Singh was back to his best in his first match for Royal Challengers Bangalore. More »

Pakistan cricketers face probe

Pakistan cricketers face probe

Pakistani cricket authorities have launched an investigation after a number of current international stars played in exhibition matches in the United States… More »

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

The BCCI will hold an emergent working committee meeting on April 20 to discuss the future course of action with regard to the Supreme Court hearing concerning… More »