Mumbai: Even as Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa defended the government's decision on banning Kamal Haasan's 'Vishwaroopam' from the state, the actor and director on Thursday thanked her and the "huge Muslim support" he received during the controversy. Haasan also clarified his statement of "leaving the country" and said he only said that because he was "angry".
Haasan, however, added there was a loss of Rs 30-60 crore as a result of his Rs 95 crore espionage thriller getting off the screens in Tamil Nadu and due to the postponing of the film's release. "In all these hurdles my Muslim brothers were behind me. These are the true Muslims. This is the real India," Haasan said while addressing the media.
Haasan, 58, had earlier described the ban as "cultural terrorism" and said, "Any neutral and patriotic Muslim will surely feel pride on seeing my film. It was designed for that purpose." Muslim groups had objected and protested against the alleged portrayal of the community in the film.
The film had received a short-lived relief from the Madras High Court, which revoked the ban on Tuesday night, but was again lifted from the screen amidst stray violence in some cinema halls. "This film was proposed to be released in 524 theatres in Tamil Nadu but various Muslim organisations submitted a memorandum to the government, demanding a ban on the movie. These Muslim organisations also announced various demonstrations, there was every apprehension that this could turn violent," Jayalalithaa had said, while justifying the ban on the film.
The actor also said he never wanted to get into such "problem" and termed the controversy as "insulting, not only as an actor, but also for the nation." He also claimed he was not looking for an Oscar and would rather give preference to Indian awards.
Meanwhile, the film's Hindi version, 'Vishwaroop' is set to release on Friday in cinema halls across Mumbai. However, back in Tamil Nadu, the Chief Minister hit out at the critics accusing her of having personal grudges against Kamal Haasan, and said, "I have been accused of having personal grudge against Kamal Hasaan on his remarks at an event about a 'dhoti clad to become the PM'. I am experienced enough to know that Mr Kamal Hasaan doesn't select the PM." Jayalalithaa added, "These are ridiculous pieces of fiction and most absurd charges in the media."