While a group of Muslim organisations have been opposing the release of Kamal Haasan’s ‘Vishwaroopam’, moderate Muslims in the state have condemned what they termed “pressure politics” by some sections. Though they condemn filmmakers for stereotyping terrorism plots, they have expressed disapproval of protests against films being taken to streets or what they describe as a “non-legal approach”. Some progressive Muslim bloggers have opposed the ban on the film. They have backed Kamal Haasan on social networking sites.
“None of these protesting Muslim organisations represent the majority. The protestors are trying to get mileage with their protests as many of these outfits are struggling to survive,” said well-known Tamil writer Manushyaputhiran. While the state government’s decision to impose a two-week ban on the film was unacceptable, anybody could resort to legal action and move the courts instead of resorting to “a parallel censorship”, he said.
Kamal Haasan’s screening of the film for representatives of some Muslim organisations was not practical, said Manushyaputhiran. “It implies that he sought their permission. He should have avoided the screening since clearance from the censor board was all he needed to release the film,” he said, “If we bow to such pressures, it would prove a hurdle for freedom of expression.”
Indian Union Muslim league general secretary K M Khader Mohideen urged the actor to remove a few scenes if sections felt they tarnished the image of the community. “If anyone has any objection to a film, they can appeal to the censor board or approach the courts,” said Mohideen. Some Muslim leaders urged the government to include members with “cultural and political sensitivity” in the censor board.