An emotional Kamal Hassan's threat to leave the country if required, following the raging row over his controversial movie Vishwaroopam on Wednesday has stunned the film fraternity which said the actor-filmmaker is being "humiliated".
As members of the film fraternity including superstar Shahrukh
Khan spoke out in support of Hassan, Censor Board chief Leela
Samson also threw her weight behind 58-year-old Haasan, saying he
is being hounded despite the film getting the panel's clearance for
The Centre also backed Hassan, saying everyone in the country
enjoys the freedom of expression and that artistes have full
liberty to continue their choice of work. "What he (Hassan) is
going through amounts to hounding," Samson said. Filmmaker Shyam
Benegal endorsed her views.
Samson also said she will take up the matter of how state
governments can ban a film after the movie gets a certificate from
the Censor Board. The Tamil Nadu government has imposed a two-week
ban on the release of the film in the state and Hassan is locked in
a legal battle to get the ban lifted.
"Kamal Hassan is a national treasure, an immaculate artiste. He
has been subjected to humiliation. It is one of the darkest moment
for the entire film fraternity," said filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt. He
also called for strengthening the Central Board of Film
Certification (CBFC). Follow the slideshow to read
"We have all gone through this, we have all faced this. To say
the least, it is the most unfortunate thing to happen to a film," Shahrukh Khan said.
Actor Siddharth took to Twitter in support of Hassan.
"Heartbreaking to see the greatest Tamil actor of all time talking
about leaving Tamil Nadu, about bankruptcy and about unfair
persecution. Vishwaroopam screenings cancelled before
starting & even stopped mid show all over TN. What a sad day.
What a horrible week. #TalibanTN," he tweeted.
Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said there is freedom of
expression in India. "We are a free society. There is freedom of
expression. There is liberty for artists. We have a Constitution," he told reporters in New Delhi.
In an emotional outburst, Hassan said, "If I can't find it
within India, which I will know in another couple of days, I will
find hopefully another country which is secular than mine that
might take me in...When MF Hussain can do it, Kamal Hassan will
do," the actor said, drawing comparisons to the country's
Husain fled India in 2006 and died in exile in London after his
depictions of naked Hindu goddesses angered right wing