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HC Defers Hearing on Vishwaroopam Ban Till Jan 29
The Madras High Court today suggested that actor-filmmaker Kamal Haasan explore all options in finding an "amicable" solution to the row over the ban on screening of his controversial film Vishwaroopam in Tamil Nadu.

The suggestion was made by the court even as it deferred till tomorrow its order on Haasan's plea challenging the Tamil Nadu government's ban on release of the mega budget spy thriller which has been objected to by Muslim groups.

As the court met this morning to decide on the plea, Haasan's counsel filed petitions challenging prohibitory orders imposed by District Collectors' under Section 144 of CrPC across the state and sought hearing on it along with the main case.

Deferring the matter till tomorrow, Justice K Venkataraman, who had watched the movie on Saturday, suggested that the petitioner "explore all possibilities" to find an "amicable" solution to the issue with the government.

The judge suggested to the petitioner to "keep in mind, the law and order situation in the country.. Unity of the nation..Because of this there should not be any disharmony among the communities.. That is the primary consideration."

Talking to reporters outside the court, petitioner's counsel P S Raman said, "We challenged the District Collectors' orders and sought to be heard along with the main petition."

On the court's advice for an amicable situation, Raman said, "The court only made an observation that since Kamal Haasan has returned to town, he can try to find a compromise. That is not a Court order. You shall not consider it a court order."

"We have got some 7-8 orders (District Collectors'), we are challenging only them now. The rest we can challenge only after we receive it.. We are going to do separately for Puducherry," he said.

The court had on January 24 declined to grant any interim stay on the two-week ban imposed on the movie that has angered Muslim outfits who claim it depicts their community in a negative light.

Talking to reporters outside the court, Haasan's brother Chandra Haasan said he believed the film in no way hurts sentiments of Muslims. "Even at the time of making the movie, we were sure that it wouldn't affect the sentiment of any community," he said, adding the loss during the weekend holidays could be "anywhere between Rs 30-80 crore".
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Digression

10/D-75
Jan 29, 2013
12:32 PM

How about the negative stereotyping of Males by Indian cinema?

How has this gone unnoticed?

Male Unblocked, Chennai
9/D-64
Jan 29, 2013
11:01 AM

"keep in mind, the law and order situation in the country.. Unity of the nation..Because of this there should not be any disharmony among the communities.. That is the primary consideration."

So, all that is needed to get ones way is to threaten to disrupt communal harmony. Did the judge really perceive a threat to communal harmony or was he under the influence of media frenzy ? These days the coterie of MSM creates such a dark,freightening picture of the state of nation that you think apocalypse is anytime later in the night. May be judges should be barred from watching MSM.

K.Suresh, Bangalore
8/D-60
Jan 29, 2013
10:29 AM

>>The judge suggested to the petitioner to "keep in mind, the law and order situation in the country.. Unity of the nation..Because of this there should not be any disharmony among the communities.. That is the primary consideration.

What BS is this? The SC has ruled many times that the reasonable restrictions in article 19(2) of 'public order' DOES NOT mean law and order problems. Aren't our HC judges aware of SC judgments? The implication of HC judge's statements is that every time a group of radicals engage in violence, we should restrict our FOE to maintain law and order. This guy is turning our constitution on its head!

RSM, Delhi
7/D-55
Jan 29, 2013
10:15 AM

>>The Madras High Court today suggested that actor-filmmaker Kamal Haasan explore all options in finding an "amicable" solution to the row over the ban on screening of his controversial film Vishwaroopam in Tamil Nadu.

This this judge serious? Is this the way the Judge proposes to uphold our constitution? He is supposed to rule on whether the ban is justified or not and he gives suggestions on amicable solution? Our FOE is continuously under threat from insignificant group of touchy people and our politicians never showed the balls to stand for our rights thanks to vote banks. It is sad to see judges think and behave like politicians!

RSM, Delhi
6/D-46
Jan 29, 2013
08:42 AM

"The judge suggested to the petitioner to "keep in mind, the law and order situation in the country.. Unity of the nation..Because of this there should not be any disharmony among the communities.. That is the primary consideration.""

I can understand "law and order" situation because I agree that we are a 3rd world country, for now destined and doomed to remain that way, and the good ole judge is acknowledging that fact. It is tragic when you have Freedom Fighters say that relatively speaking the British, even though bad, were better for us (per TOI article it happened in Karnataka on 26th Jan and these were those that were honored this 26th). Our law & order machinery is completely incapable to implement "law & order" except being arbitrary and hard on those that do not form a "voting block" for someone, i.e., are voiceless.

As regards "Unity of the nation" .... need I remind folks of the solution taken by Abraham Lincoln. He could have easily for the "unity of nation" pandered to the basest of elements to keep the peace. This approach of "keeping the peace" and perceived "unity of the nation" is a slide down a slippery slope which we are on. Every tom, dick or harry (Ram, Rahim, Ronald and many many more in our case) take offence at the drop of the hat, use silly laws and hold the rest at ransom. They cannot accept a simple fact that seeing movies, theatre, art, reading books are purely optional choices made by paying hard earned money - nobody drags and forces you to do it - you don't like it don't do it, convince others in your influence not to do it but don't stop others from it and making their own mind as adults who don't give a rats behind for constantly getting hurt at the drop of a hat. For gods sake behave like adults and trust us - we are adults too.

In this specific case as I understand the offence is because terrorists are shown taking oath of the Quran, or using passages from it to justify their acts. Well Bubba it is happening and that is quite well documented - turning a blind eye to reality is plain stupid because reality is what it is - doesn't change. If the faithful are really concerned about where this is taking Islam and Muslims, take on those who are doing this and draw a clear line and a sustained campaign of "not in my name" whatever be the real or perceived angers with the world at large. I know it is a much harder solution and of course dangerous and life threatening too but that is where the real solution lies. Just parroting - Islam is peaceful or Quran doesn't say this or that is not enough anymore or getting works banned that don't fit your perceptions - stop those who have hijacked your future and evolution towards modernization. Otherwise, what is being re-inforced is that you act like children and that to petulant, violent ones. For that first - the Mullahs have to stop being the most important people to be listened to. They just have to be one of the voices to factor in but as adults integrate all the voices and choose and be responsible for the choice. Not pass on the choice and responsibilities to Mullahs.

We as a collective keep hoping to solve problems by buying time, postponing - hoping for another day to be better for no good reason or people's memory to be short and passing the buck. No real solutions - nothing is resolved and we just meander along "wet dreaming" about greatness waiting to embrace us right around the corner. The world for the moment sees a whole bunch of much needed consumers and just panders to us, strokes our brittle egos filled with imagined greatness, both past, present, and future and so we think we have arrived when in all honesty we are not even in the race. As of now we do not deserve the "greatness" we "wet dream" about and the way we are meandering we won't ever. Ask yourselves with this "delaying, avoiding, buying time, pandering, passing the buck" mindset, why should anyone support us for a seat the security council table with a veto. Whatever little happens will even stop.

Arun Maheshwari, Bangalore
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