Kamal film ban: No political motive, but issue of law and order, says Jayalalithaa
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa broke her silence on Thursday on the controversial ban of Kamal Hassan film and justified her government's decision to ban Vishwaroopam saying there was no political motive behind it but a real threat of a law and order situation.
"The decks will be cleared for the film's release if Kamal Hassan and leaders of Muslim organisations sit together and work out an amicable solution. The government will facilitate that," the Chief Minister said, addressing the media at the state secretariat in Chennai for the first time after the controversy over the film's release broke out.
Some Muslim leaders had conveyed to her yesterday that Kamal had agreed to delete a few objectionable portions from the film, she said. "We have no intention of harming Kamal or infringing on his right to freedom of expression," Jayalalithaa added.
In fact, soon after the single judge order lifting the ban on the film, there were incidents of violence across the state and in front of many theatres, she said. It stopped only after the first bench of the high court upheld the ban, setting aside the single judge order, she added.
"My first priority is to maintain law and order," she said. "There is lots of hysteria in the media. Many Muslim groups opposed the film's release. They could have turned wild. It is not possible to secure over 500 theatres." No government or police could have prevented such violence, she said.
Clarifying doubts on the ban decision, she said, "If the film is released in theatres, about 56,000 policemen would be needed for protection." She added, "We rely on intelligence report." Stating that there were incidents of violence in other states, she asked, "Why was it banned in Puducherry. How can I be responsible for all this?"
On charges from political parties that her government's decision to ban Vishwaroopam had also to do with alleged problems over purchase of satellite rights of the film by some television channels, she said, "Jaya TV only supports the AIADMK. Other than that I have no connection with Jaya TV. Wild reckless charges are being made against a responsible government," she said.
- Asian Tribune -