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Friday, February 1, 2013

Bangalore bats for Kamal Haasan Viswa Roopam

The ban imposed by the Tamil Nadu government on Kamal Haasan's latest film has people in creative spaces both outraged and surprised at this development. BT spoke to some of Bangalore's creative souls to gauge their reactions to the ban and to Kamal's threat to seek exile. Prakash Belawadi, theatre person: I do not think the state is competent enough to judge a film good, bad, or ugly. This is why we have the Censor Board of Film Certification that is completely equipped to judge a film socially, psychologically and politically. For a state to take a stand on this is, to my mind, calling upon legal resources that it's not meant to use for this purpose. In a society such as ours that is so diverse and so full of inequities, no work of art will fail to offend one group or the other. But are you going to ban everything? As for Kamal's threat to seek exile to a more secular destination, you make those kind of statements when pushed. It's a silly thing to say. Kavita Lankesh, filmmaker: The fact that it has been cleared by the Board should have been the final word. After that, it is up to the government to ensure that theatres are protected and the film is screened. Any form of art should be seen. The Censor Board should be accepted as an institution and allowed to take calls on such issues. It is sad that Kamal has been forced to say that he could leave the country. He is, after all, an intense filmmaker and intelligent man. But then 90% of creativity happens on your own soil. Why would filmmakers like Deepa Mehta and Mira Nair still make movies based here? Vani Ganapathy, dancer: After the Censor Board, has passed it, I don't see any reason why there should be a ban on a film. Those who want to protest have a right to do so because we are in a democratic country, but those who want to see it should also have the right to see it without any obstructions. A person who wants to make a film should be able to make it with freedom. Each person has a right to feel how they want to — whether they want to move out (of the country), or if they want to stay on. I don't see why anyone should sit in judgment or comment on that. After all, they are individuals and have a right to their feelings.

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