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Vishwaroopam ban Centre takes on TN govt mulls amending Cinematograph Act

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The Information and Broadcasting Minister, Manish Tewari has expressed his views on the ban being re-imposed on Kamal Haasan’s spy-thriller ‘Vishwaroopam’ by the Madras High Court.

The Minister indicated that the government might consider amending the Cinematograph Law. Empahsiing on the need to revisit the existing law, Tewari tweeted, “Time Cinematograph Act revisited to ensure implementation integrity certification decisions Otherwise each state would be its own censor (sic).”

Reports suggest that Tewari will set up a committee to discuss core issue regarding the amendment.

Importantly, Haasan’s lawyers may approach the Supreme Court today against the HC ban.

The Centre’s support is important for Kamal as he fights to release his mega budget film `Vishwaroopam` in Tamil Nadu.

“We are a free society. There is freedom of expression. There is liberty for artists. We have a Constitution,” Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde told reporters here.

He was reacting to a question on the actor`s statement that Tamil Nadu does not want him to stay in the state and that he might leave.

Asked about the problems being faced in the release of `Vishwaroopam`, Shinde said there was some problem in some states and he would look into it.

“We will see. We will enquire into what has happened,” he said.

The Madras High Court stayed the release of the film following the Tamil Nadu government’s challenge against an earlier verdict that had deemed the movie fit to be released.

In the meanwhile, the actor had held a meeting with Muslim leaders to arrive at a consensus. He has agreed to edit objectionable content from the film. But, the film couldn’t get a green signal from the High Court.

Reacting to the ban on the film, Censor Board chief Leela Samson had said, “Once we have certified the film, there is no reason to doubt the decision,” said a visibly unhappy Leela Samson to a leading news channel and added, “This is a case of hounding an artist; that too an icon of Tamil Nadu.”

Confirming that the Censor Board will take up the matter, Samson said the government’s accusation “wasn’t short of abuse” towards the Board that had certified the film: “When you call us incompetent, suggest bribery – it is inexcusable.”

Earlier, Kamal Haasan said that he would leave the country if he fails to get justice over his controversial film ‘Vishwaroopam’. Speaking to the press here, the actor apologized for causing inconvenience and wondered why at all there is a controversy regarding the film.

The Censor Board had cleared the film for its release but the Tamil Nadu government had imposed a ban on the same following protests by certain sections of the society, who alleged that the film showed Muslims in bad light. However, the Madras High Court had stayed the ban on the film Tuesday.

Addressing the media, Haasan said, “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.”

“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,” added the veteran.

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