Kamal Hassan voices anguish after Tamil Nadu bans Vishwaroopam film

India News Bulletin Desk

Renowned actor and director Kamal Hassan has expressed his anger over allegations that his upcoming spy thriller film Vishwaroopam "targets Muslims and their beliefs". Tamil Nadu state suspended the screening of the film for two weeks over fears that it may raise communal tensions.

Kamal Hassan from a scene in film Vishwaroopam which was banned by Tamil Nadu
Image: YouTube still (sonymusicindia SME)

After Tamil Nadu, cities Bangalore and Hyderabad also suspended the film screening. Kamal Hassan took to social media to voice his feelings about the controversies surrounding his most ambitious and pet project Vishwaroopam

On his official Facebook page, Hassan said: “I am appalled at how my film [Vishwaroopam] is construed to be against my Muslim brothers.”

“I am not only hurt by these accusations of denigrating a community but my sensibilities are truly insulted,” Hassan added.

He offered further clarifications that he has been part of Harmony India – the entity that worked for Hindu-Muslim unity.

The Tamil Nadu state’s ban comes despite the approval from the censor board.

A few Muslim organisations including political parties have protested against the release of the film saying it “targets Muslims and their beliefs”, according to media reports.

The Press Trust of India has quoted the spokesman of the Federation of Islamic Movements and Political Parties – Mohammed Haneefa. The organisation wished to register its apprehension that Vishwaroopam’s release – even with edits – could affect the social harmony of Tamil Nadu, Haneefa was quoted as saying by the PTI.

But Kamal Hassan has denied that his film -- which is produced in Tamil and Hindi and dubbed in Telugu -- denigrates the Muslim community.

Kamal Hassan has acted, produced and directed Vishwaroopam which some organisations think targets Muslim beliefs
Image: YouTube still (sonymusicindia SME)

 “I have been ruthlessly used as a vehicle by small groups who seek political profile,” Hassan said on his Facebook page. “Any neutral and patriotic Muslim will surely feel pride on seeing my film. It was designed for that purpose,” he says.

The ban could mean that Kamal Hassan and his production house -- Raaj Kamal Films International -- could face a huge loss as the budget of Vishwaroopam is 95-crore rupees.  

Many from the Indian film fraternity came out in support of Hassan. Director Shekhar Kapur said on Twitter: “For a man facing a ban on his film and loss of over 60-crore [rupees] Kamal Hassan has the calm look of a man who completely who believes in what he is doing.” Kapur also said that he “stands for” Kamal Hassan

Vishwaroopam’s release was slated for Friday, January 25, 2013.

Previously, the film hit another controversy when Kamal Hassan decided to release Vishwaroopam on Direct-To-Home (DTH) platforms ahead of multiplex release. The move was heavily criticised by theatre owners across the country and Hassan pulled out the idea. 

UPDATE: Sunday, February 3, 2013

Tamil Nadu has lifted the two-week ban on Kamal Hassan's Vishwaroopam film marking its release in one of its target market -- Chennai. Vishwaroopam will now compete with Mani Ratnam's Kadal and Nambiar's Vikram-starrer David

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