Vishwaroopam: Madras HC should worry about the law, not law and order

“The Madras High Court has postponed its order on the release of Kamal Hassan’s film Vishwaroopam in Tamil Nadu until Tuesday. The verdict was due to be announced today. While postponing the verdict, the court had also said that Kamal Hasaan would have to meet government officials and find a way out of the crisis. CNN-IBN reported that the court had added that it was “worried about unity of nation and law and order situation”, Firstpost reported earlier today .

This is the second time the court has failed to do its job, abrogating the responsibility it is designed to shoulder. Vishwaroopam has been submitted to the Central Board of Film Certification, as is required before the exhibition of any film in India. Once the CBFI certifies the film as fit for theatrical release, that should have been the end of that. No objections to the release of the film should be entertained anywhere in India.

Courtesy: Facebook

Courtesy: Facebook

And what is it that we see here? We see a court asking for a special release of the film. Why should the judge or the court be humoured with a special screening? All they should do is to insist on checking that the film was certified by the CBFI. Once that was done, the court should have ordered the authorities to ensure that there was no disturbance of law and order. Indeed, they should have ordered protection for the multiplexes, the theatres and for Kamal Hassan himself.

Instead, we see the film’s release indefinitely delayed by the court and saying that Kamal Hassan should meet government officials and ‘find a way out of the crisis.’

Why should he do that? It’s because he believed he was in the right (and he was, thanks to his following all the laws of the land) that he approached the court for justice and clear direction on an arbitrary decision by the government of Tamil Nadu to ban the film.

The order and directions of the court are flummoxing, to say the least. When is anything legal? In cases like the release of a film, it seems to be black and white – get the censor certificate, and you’re kosher. Or so one thought. The court has gone beyond the simple black and white and has discovered a grey, which muddies the waters.

The whole idea of laws and courts is to reduce grey and evolve into black and white. The black and white of the law, if the court had gone by it, would have seen the film release on time – and the protesters being dealt according to the law. The courts business is the law, and not, as they seem to think in this instance, law and order. That’s for the administration to worry about.

Advertisement