This week, one of India’s iconic actor-filmmakers spoke poignantly of his search for an elusive secular space. Where his new film would have been screened without fear or trouble. In Tamil Nadu, it’s been a different story altogether. “M.F. Husain had to do it and now Haasan will do it...I think Tamil Nadu wants me out,” said Kamalahaasan whose Vishwaroopam was banned by the J. Jayalalithaa government last week (despite the film getting censor board clearance) after some Muslim groups claimed it was offensive towards their community.
Last Tuesday, a single-judge interim order had lifted the ban but a division bench of Madras HC set it aside after the TN government appealed the order, leaving Kamal little option other than to move the Supreme Court. At the time of going to press, Jayalalitha had indicated in a press conference that the film could be screened if an amicable solution was reached with the Muslim groups. So is it all’s well that ends well? Not quite.