Kamal Haasan threatens to move to 'secular state abroad'

Chennai, Jan 30 (IANS) Citing the late M.F. Husain, actor-filmmaker Kamal Haasan Wednesday said he could be forced to look for a secular state overseas and even change his passport if the final verdict on his film "Vishwaroopam" was not in his favour.

Stating that he was "fed up", Kamal said at a press conference: "If there is no secular state in India, I would go overseas. I think Tamil Nadu wants me out. What would change is my passport; I would still be an Indian. I have pledged all my property for the film. I have lost my house because of delay in release."

"Going by what is happening with me, I'm very likely to seek a secular state or country to release my film, on which I've invested my lifetime's savings, including all my assets," Haasan said.

"If by becoming a secular man like M.F. Husain, I can peacefully continue making films, then so be it," an anguished Kamal told reporters, referring to the late artist who died in a London hospital in June 2011 after being forced to leave the country following threats by right-wing activists upset with his paintings of Indian goddesses.

"I have lost all my property for the film, so I have nothing to lose, but choose now. If the judgment is not favourable for me, I have to look out for a secular state abroad. We will get away from this place but will have lot of good memories," the 58-year-old told reporters at a press conference here.

He said he was still trying to understand why "some members with strong political backing" were against his film. "The film is running successfully in other states and the feedback from the audience has also been positive."

The Rs.95 crore espionage thriller, which stars Kamal and is written, produced and directed by him, was banned by the state government after some Muslim groups complained that the film portrayed their community in bad light.

On Jan 29, the Madras High Court bench chaired by Justice K. Venkataraman passed an interim order in favour of the film and kept the 144 orders issued by district collector in abeyance. He said the film can be released without any cuts or edits all over the country.

Muslim groups that had protested against the film have said they hope the government will appeal again, if needed in the Supreme Court.

Kamal said he cannot release the film in the state until he gets the physical order from the Madras High Court.

"We are waiting for the final verdict and the physical copy of the orders from the honourable judge and until then we can't release the film."

"The fact is that I have yet to get interim relief as some of my friends have reported in press. The film shows are stopped again and the police have sent away fans, asking for court order copy. I have been thrashed in a political game, monetary loss is not important," he said.

Despite the lifting of the ban, most theatres still haven't opened bookings for the film.

"Even though the ban is lifted, we're waiting for an official confirmation to open the bookings for the film," a representative of a leading multiplex here told IANS.

The film was originally scheduled to release Jan 25 in Tamil and Telugu, but was only released in a few places in Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. It was banned in these places as well after the first show on the release day.

It was also banned in places such as Malaysia and Sri Lanka after two days of run in the cinemas.

Besides Kamal, who plays the title role, "Vishwaroopam" also features Pooja Kumar, Andrea Jeremiah, Rahul Bose, Shekhar Kapur and Jaideep Ahlawat. The Hindi version "Vishwaroop" is slated to release Feb 1.

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

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 »

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

Chennai have been able to purchase batting replacements for the loss of Michael Hussey and spin reinforcements in the form of Samuel Badree. They appear… More »

Evenly matched Rajasthan and Hyderabad face-off

Evenly matched Rajasthan and Hyderabad face-off

A quality that defines Rajasthan and Hyderabad is consistency. Rajasthan was one among two teams to enjoy complete dominance at home last season. Hyderabad… 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 »

Kallis, Narine star in Knight Riders’ crushing win

Kallis, Narine star in Knight Riders’ crushing win

An all-round display saw Knight Riders thump Mumbai Indians by 41 runs in the IPL-7 opener. More »

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

"Integrity is non-negotiable..." says the BCCI's interim chief ahead of Season 7 of the tainted league. More »

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

The 38-year-old South African veteran turned it on for Kolkata Knight RIders in the opening match of IPL-7. More »

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

The court emphasised that the tainted administrator can no longer work for the BCCI. More »

Yuvraj happy to play for RCB: Kohli

Yuvraj happy to play for RCB: Kohli

New-look RCB will play their first game of IPL-7 on Thursday. More »

Shane Watson issues moral warning

Shane Watson issues moral warning

'Everyone knows what is right and what is wrong and if you do the wrong thing it will be found out' More »

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Welcome to another season of a league that many watch but few trust. More »

IPL: News Line

IPL: News Line

A round-up of all the news from this season of the IPL. More »

Johnson may quit T20s for Tests

Johnson may quit T20s for Tests

Australia's Mitchell Johnson may quit limited-overs cricket to prolong his test career with an eye on the 2015 Ashes series in England, the fast bowler… More »

Nepal players call off boycott

Nepal players call off boycott

Thaw in relations after formation of an advisory committee that would work in tandem with the Cricket Association of Nepal. More »

There's a lot going on: Fleming

There's a lot going on: Fleming

He experienced anxious moments in the lead-up to the tournament as the courts decided on whether to suspend the franchise, he said, but stressed that the… More »

Latif couldn’t work with tainted players

Latif couldn’t work with tainted players

Former Pakistan cricket captain Rashid Latif said Tuesday he turned down the job of national chief selector because he could not work with ex-players tainted… More »

We are not over-confident: Bailey

We are not over-confident: Bailey

Indian Premier League — George Bailey-led Kings XI Punjab will face Chennai Super Kings on Friday. More »

Big runs expected, with bat and ball

Big runs expected, with bat and ball

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Their main concern, once again, is the fast bowling More »

Taxing issue — BCCI hits roadblock

Taxing issue — BCCI hits roadblock

MoU between BCCI & its units to avoid double taxation delayed after a few decline to share details. More »

Black Caps pick rookie duo for West Indies

Black Caps pick rookie duo for West Indies

New Zealand selectors included two new caps in a 15-man Test squad named Tuesday to tour the West Indies, with injury-hit spinner Dan Vettori's future… More »

The stage is set for IPL-7 to start

The stage is set for IPL-7 to start

The Preview — Defending champions Mumbai Indians take on Kolkata Knight Riders More »

Srinivasan appeals to court to allow BCCI comeback

Srinivasan appeals to court to allow BCCI comeback

He was aggrieved by the allegations against him during the hearing. More »

India: cricket's Brazil

India: cricket's Brazil

They are tough to beat with a big talent base exposed to good facilities. (CYCSPL) More »

Delhi Daredevils say no to gifts

Delhi Daredevils say no to gifts

Franchises are doing their bit to refurbish the image of the tainted league. More »