The banning of Kamal Haasan’s Vishwaroopam has created a stir not only in Tamil Nadu and the rest of the South but the entire Indian film industry is upset by this last minute halt on the film. While the exhibitors remain unaffected in Mumbai, the director’s association has strongly condemned the government’s decision.
There were allegations levelled against the makers that the film had hurt religious sentiments.
Ashoke Pandit, president of the Indian Film and Television Directors’ Association says, “Banning a film without considering the monetary loss is shocking for the film industry. This kind of carpet banning is a complete violation of the freedom of expression and freedom of employment. It is disheartening to see that the film industry is always an easy target for religious and political groups who tend to use films for their own agendas and benefits.”
He adds, “Earlier too it happened with Prakash Jha’s Aarakashan and by the time the decision from the court came, it was too late. It was also the case with Aamir Khan’s Fanaa. Banning of films questions the sanctity of the Censor Board and the whole process needs to be rethought. We at IFTDA condemn the banning of Vishwaroopam.”
Meanwhile Mumbai-based exhibitor Hemant Shah says, “If there is a serious issue over public safety and chances of communal riots then the ban is justified. Under any other condition, it is not acceptable. As far as we exhibitors go, I don’t think it will create an issue. The promotions around the film were minimum.”