'I will look for another country if I don't find a secular place in India,' says actor Kamal Haasan

Chennai, Jan. 30 (ANI): Expressing disappointment with the Tamil Nadu Government's move to appeal against the Madras High Court's verdict that allowed his big-budget thriller 'Vishwaroopam' to be released in the state, actor Kamal Haasan on Wednesday said he would look for another country to stay if he could not find a secular place in India.

Haasan, however, said he would wait for the judgement that is expected later this afternoon.

"Now, I shall wait for the afternoon judgement. But add to this, I think I will have to seek a secular state for me to stay in. And that choice would be a place where it would be a secular state. If I can't find it within India, I will hopefully find another country, which is secular that might take me in. M F Husain had to do it, and now Hassan will do it," he said.

Haasan described the ban on his film as a political game.

"The film shows started and was stopped again. The police have come and sent out those asking for physical order from the court, which we are yet to receive. We might or might not, I don't know about it. It is still sub-judice. The honourable judge will tell us whether we will get the interim order or not," said Hassan.

"But, I believe that along with my Muslim friends I have been instrument in a political game. I don't know who is playing it," he added.

Haasan further said that he has hawked his house to a moneylender to make this film and it is two months since it is overdue.

"For the sake of this film, I have hawked this (my) house to my moneylender who has shown great patience and now it is nearly two months since he lost his patience. And, I have pawned all my properties that I own in Chennai and surroundings to him in case he doesn't realise his money on a particular date, he will take over this place," he said.

The 58-year-old actor also said that the Tamil Nadu Government wants him out of the state.

The Tamil Nadu Government earlier today filed an appeal against the interim order of a single judge of Madras High Court giving clearance for screening of Haasan's movie Vishwaroopam.

The government sought an immediate hearing of the appeal on the issue, which is likely to be heard this afternoon.

The decks were cleared late last night by Justice K Venkataraman, who granted the interim stay of operation of the order made under Section 144 of the CrPC by District Collectors across the state that had prevented release of the movie made with a nearly Rs. 100 crore budget.

"The film can be released in theatres tomorrow and the Section 144 order issued by the district collector will be kept in abeyance," said Justice Venkatraman

"I have watched the film and it has no scenes that hurt the sentiments of Muslim community," Justice Venkataraman added.

The verdict on the ban was issued after Haasan was requested to settle the matter amicably with the government of Tamil Nadu Jan 28. This was after a judge saw the movie in a private screening Jan 26.

The Rs.95-crore espionage thriller was originally scheduled to release in Tamil and Telugu Jan 25. However, a day before the screenings, the Tamil Nadu government imposed a two-week ban on the film after some Muslim groups complained that some scenes in it portrayed the community in bad light.

"Vishwaroopam" was banned from being screened in Kerala, parts of Hyderabad, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh on January 25, soon after the first show. (ANI)

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