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News updated at 2:49 AM IST

Judge watches 'Vishwaroopam,' verdict on Jan 28

Chennai, Jan 26, 2013, DHNS: 1:08 IST

Will decide Tamil Nadu govt’s 15-day ban on public screening

People coming out of a theatre after watching a show of Kamal Hassan's 'Vishwaroopam' that was released in Kochi on Friday. PTI
Madras High Court judge Justice K Venkatraman on Saturday watched Kamal Hassan’s latest blockbuster “Vishwaroopam” to enable him decide a ticklish legal issue over the Tamil Nadu government’s 15-day ban on the public screening of the film.

At a private studio lab, Justice Venkatraman watched the movie along with lawyers representing both sides of the dispute and key officials of the Madras High Court, sources said here.

“The screening has been completed and we will have to await the court’s view when the matter is taken up on Monday,” sources said. There was nothing to be said at this stage.
Kamal Hassan, who is in the US, said a “small group” was “paranoid” over his film.

“I am an Indian. And Muslims are my brothers; I don’t know why a small group (Muslim outfits who demand a total ban of ‘Vishwaroopam’) is so paranoid about it, misunderstanding every word I utter,” Kamal Hassan said in a recorded Tamil message, while expressing his desire to talk to them again.

“I spoke to them and I am ready to talk to them (the Muslim groups) again on my return,” Kamal Hassan said. “I am a single man, not a government or a corporation”.

Interestingly, even PMK leader S Ramadoss, calling for a revocation of the ban, recalled how Kamal Hassan, after the Babri Masjid demolition in 1992, had not only strongly condemned it, but also met the then Prime Minister, P V Narasimha Rao, urging effective action.

Even as the Tamizhaga Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam (TMMK) joined issued with superstar Rajnikant on Saturday, a day after he backed Kamal Hassan, alleging that the movie was “propagandistic”, and that their demand for banning the film stemmed from “its possible negative fallout”, DMK President M Karunanidhi also agreed with the Muslim groups’ apprehensions. In a statement on Saturday evening, Karunanidhi said the DMK will never support any criticism or agitation against the Muslims in any part of the world.

He stressed that the “goodwill” between the Muslims and other communities in Tamil Nadu and the nation at large should not be allowed to wane. The controversy over “Vishwaroopam” should be quickly brought to an end through “free and frank talks” between the affected parties.

Karunanidhi added that the Tamil Nadu government should “ensure that there is no law and order problem.”

Now, Malaysia bans ‘Vishwaroopam’


Kamal Haasan’s controversial film “Vishwaroopam” has been removed from local cinemas in Malaysia a day after its release following a directive from the Home Ministry, much to the disappointment of ethnic Indians. Film distribution company Lotus Fivestar AV’s director R Ramalingam said the ministry told him to stop screening the movie on Friday, reports PTI from Kuala Lumpur. Sri Lanka, too, has ordered a delay in the release in favour of a review by censors.

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