Chennai: In twists and turns marked by high drama, actor Kamal Haasan suffered a setback as the Madras High Court today stayed the screening of his Tamil film "Vishwaroopam" even as he agreed to remove certain scenes while threatening to exile himself from Tamil Nadu.
The relief given to the actor by Justice K Venkataraman late last night was short lived as a division bench comprising acting Chief Justice Elipe Dharma Rao and Aruna Jagadeesan overturned a single-judge order, effectively stalling its release today.
The two-member bench posted the case for hearing next Wednesday. While the 58-year-old actor's lawyer earlier indicated that they may challenge the decision, his brother Chandra Haasan said they would wait till next Wednesday to decide the next course of action.
As judicial proceedings were on before a two-judge division bench of the high court, Haasan agreed to delete some scenes at a meeting with leaders of Muslim outfits that was preceded by an emotional outburst.
He said Tamil Nadu does not want him to stay in the state and he might seek a "secular" place in the country or overseas, citing M F Husain's exile.
In stray incidents of violence, petrol bombs were thrown at two theatres screening the movie in Ramanathapuram town, damaging glass panes while elsewhere in the state, screenings were stopped midway by theatre owners.
The issue also took a political turn when DMK President M Karunanidhi wondered whether Haasan's statement at a recent function clamouring for a "dhoti clad Tamilian" to become the prime minister, an apparent reference to P Chidambaram, was the root cause of his present problem.
Karunanidhi also cited reports suggesting that a TV channel close to AIADMK wanted to buy the film but that the producers had refused saying they had spent over Rs 100 crore.