After the release of his latest film was banned following protests by groups representing the Muslim community, Tamil actor-filmmaker Kamal Hassan said he was 'appalled' by the fact that Viswaroopam is being construed to be against his 'Muslim brothers'.
In the statement issued by the actor on his Facebook page, he said he felt 'insulted' and 'hurt' by such accusations and claimed he had gone beyond the call of duty to voice his opinion in favour of anything "humane and civil" .
"I have ruthlessly been used as a vehicle by small groups who seek a political profile. Icon bashing is a great way to get noticed when you are not one yourself," he said.
"A netural and patriotic Muslim would surely feel pride on seeing my film. It was designed for that purpose," the actor said in the statement.
Hassan said he would rely on law and logic to come to his aid and said such "cultural terrorism" should stop. (Read the full text of his statement here)
The actor, who is in Los Angeles, for the premiere of the Hindi version of his film also issued a statement in which he said, "I am in a different time zone. Either media waits for me to wake up or justice will." What he meant isn't very clear though.
The Tamil Nadu government banned the screening of Hassan’s Vishwaroopam following strong protests from various organisations representing the Muslim community, who were upset over the depiction of the community in a negative light.
Hassan has already clarified that Muslims are not shown in a objectionable manner in the film but that has failed to soothe frayed tempers of the community, which blames him of having a history of offending them in earlier films like Hey Ram and Unnai Pol Oruvan, the latter a remake of Hindi hit A Wednesday. Hassan had played the role which was played by Naseruddin Shah in the original.
Hassan has been faced a lot of hurdles with his latest movie, which has been made on a huge budget. His decision to show it on a DTH platform ahead of its theatrical release was faced with strong protests by theatre owners recently.
The actor was forced to drop his plans to have a DTH premiere prior to the release in theatres but moved the Competition Commission of India against Tamil Nadu theatre owners for allegedly restricting the release.
With inputs from Agencies