New Delhi: Congress today sought to make a difference between the controversy surrounding the release of Kamal Hassan’s mega-budget movie Vishwaroopam and the cancellation of controversial author Salman Rushdie’s visit to Kolkata to promote a film by Deepa Mehta.
“There may be parallels but all parallels are not equal. Other issues may have other implications as well,” party spokesperson PC Chacko said. He had earlier said that freedom of expression is ”sacrosanct and we do not want welcome any infringement on that”, when asked about protests against the release of Vishwaroopam.
Pointed out that Haasan has reacted strongly to the police action against the release of his movies and smelt politics behind it, Chacko said, “That is his opinion. Nobody can dispute that. The basic thing is that freedom of expression is sacrosanct.”
However, replying to another query regarding last-minute cancellation of Rushdie’s visit to Kolkata, who was going there to promote Mehta’s film Midnight’s Children, based on his award-winning novel, Chacko insisted that there may be parallels but all parallels may not be equal.
“Others may have some other implications also. Two things cannot be compared equally like that. That was in entirely different context. But there also, we do not question the freedom of individual expression,” the Congress spokesperson said.
To another question about the Justice J S Verma Committee report, he said the government accorded it utmost priority and will take an appropriate decision.
He also dismissed an agitation by a group of handicapped persons against Union minister Salman Khurshid saying ”baseless allegations only to malign people will be a failure and that “I do not think it can dent the public image of Salman Khurshid”.