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‘Vishwaroopam’ ban: Jayalalithaa relents, offers help, mediation

Finally, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J.Jayalalithaa has offered help to “Vishwaroopam” producer Kamal Haasan to tide over the controversy surrounding its ban in the state.

While the next course of events will take care of the imminent release of the film, what disturbs the “Bharateeyudu” or “Hindustani” is the obvious arm-twisting tactics of India’s political leadership to make even Rs.100-crore worth individual to subjugation to the realpolitik.

The so-called freedom or rights enshrined in our Constitution have no meaning if one is trying to think modern, as happened in Kamal Haasan’s case. Writ large, he even expressed frustration by annoncing to leave the country for a better nation bereft of such obstacles.

While Haasan’s plight is understandable, what makes a common man in India worry is the way our society is unfolding itself in an anarchic nature. Despite the Supreme Court’s verdict on such film releases upholding the authority of the Central Board of Film Certification in the past, state governments have been defying the very fabric of federal-cum-unitary structure of our political system.

Here, Jayalalithaa has defended the ban stating that she cannot spare 31,440 policemen to provide security to theatres screening the film across the state but more than that she has made it clear that minority groups can and will disturb the state’s law and order situation. Further, she wants to make amends by bringing both the parties to a so-called amicable agreement.

The farce behind the government’s stand is unfortunate but Haasan has finally succumbed to the pressure and has agreed to abide by the diktat. He is not moving Supreme Court and expressed his willingness to hold talks with Muslim organisations in Tamil Nadu. His brother Chandra Haasan, co-producer of the film “Vishwaroopam” was quite clear: “Whatever government says, we will do accordingly. Without government support, the release of the movie is not possible”.

So, the film will be released in Tamil Nadu next week and it may even garner huge box-office collections but the lesson from the entire episode is that even “big” people cannot withstand the pressure tactics, especially if they come from the ruling class or the ruling party. Judiciary is still a long way for anyone to seek justice.


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