Petition against screening of 'Vishwaroopam' in Andhra Pradesh
Hyderabad-based businessman Mohammed Haji has filed a petition in the Andhra Pradesh High Court in support of the ban on screening Kamal Haasan's thriller "Vishwaroopam" in the state.
"The film has scenes that are offensive and objectionable to Muslim community. It is directly hurting the sentiments of our community," Haji said in his petition.
Haji has requested the state government to submit his petition to the country's Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).
The Rs.95-crore espionage thriller was originally scheduled to release in Tamil and Telugu on Jan 25, but a day before the screenings, the Tamil Nadu government imposed a two-week ban on the film after some Muslim groups complained that some scenes in the film portrayed the community in a bad light.
Despite the ban, "Vishwaroopam" released in places like Kerala, a few parts of Hyderabad and Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh on Jan 25, but soon after the first show, the screening was banned in these states too.
Meanwhile, in Tamil Nadu, the Madras High Court deferred the verdict on the ban of the film to Jan 28, and is likely to give its ruling Tuesday.
Actor-filmmaker Kamal Haasan, who has written, produced and directed the movie, was requested to settle the matter amicably with the state government of Tamil Nadu on Jan 28. This was after a judge saw the movie in a private screening on Jan 26.
Kamal, 58, described the ban as "cultural terrorism" and added that "any neutral and patriotic Muslim will surely feel pride on seeing my film. It was designed for that purpose."
Following the ban in Tamil Nadu, actors such as superstar Rajinikanth, Ajith Kumar, Parthepan and filmmaker Bharathiraja along with producer Mukta Srinivasan opposed the measure, and urged members from Muslim organisations to allow peaceful release of the film.
"Vishwaroopam" features Kamal in the title role. Other members of the cast include Pooja Kumar, Andrea Jeremiah, Rahul Bose, Shekhar Kapur and Jaideep Ahlawat.
Its Hindi version "Vishwaroop" is slated to release Feb 1.