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Will take legal recourse against ban on film, says Kamal Haasan

"I have been ruthlessly used as a vehicle by small groups who seek political profile. Icon bashing is a great way to be noticed when you are not one yourself. It is happening again and again. Any neutral and patriotic Muslim will surely feel pride on seeing my film. It was designed for that purpose," he said in a statement here.

Andrea Jeremiah, Pooja Kumar and Kamal Haasan
Andrea Jeremiah, Pooja Kumar and Kamal Haasan at their film'Viswaroopam' first look launch

The actor, who had held a special show for Muslim representatives recently, said while he was touched by voices in support of his film he was "appalled" at how the movie was "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. Now I will rely on law and logic to come to our support. This kind of cultural terrorism will have to stop," he said.

He said his statements in favour of that community have "marked me as a sympathiser." "I have always gone beyond the call of my duty as an actor to voice my opinion in favour of what was humane and civil. I have been part of an organisation called Harmony India which worked for Hindu-Muslim amity," he said while thanking those who supported him on the matter, especially on the internet.

Tamil Nadu government had last night asked district administrations across the state to invoke relevant legal provisions to ban the screening of the movie for about two weeks to maintain law and order. The ban came after several Muslim outfits protested against screening of the film, due for release tomorrow, claiming that it depicted the community in negative light.

The actor had already courted controversy with screen-owners uniting against the tech-savvy actor's decision to release the high-budget movie on DTH platform ahead of its release in theatres. Welcoming the state government action, Tamil Nadu Muslim Munntera Kazhagam (TMMK), one of the 20-odd organisations that had demanded for the ban, said it would now strive for similar action in the neighbouring Puduchery, a Union Territory.

A TMMK release said banning the screening of the movie was the "first victory for social unity." "Organisations including TMMK are now working towards banning the movie in Puduchery also," it said.

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