Live: Home minister supports Kamal Haasan

Last Updated: Wed, Jan 30, 2013 13:20 hrs

6.50 pm: 

Home minister supports Kamal Haasan

Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde Wednesday came out in support of filmmaker Kamal Haasan, saying all have "freedom of expression".

"We are a free society. There is freedom of expression. There is liberty for artists. We have a constitution," Shinde said, in response to a question on the ban on Kamal's movie "Vishwaroopam".

"We will see. We will inquire into what has happened," he said.

"Vishwaroopam" was due to release Jan 25, but the Tamil Nadu government banned it following objections from certain Muslim groups, who claimed the film portrayed their community in a bad light. Apart from Tamil Nadu, the film was banned in Andhra Pradesh and Kerala.

The Madras High Court bench chaired by Justice K. Venkataraman Tuesday passed an interim order in favour of the film and kept the orders issued by the district collector in abeyance.

However, on Wednesday a two-judge bench of the Madras High Court set aside the single judge order and re-imposed the ban on "Vishwaroopam".

As a result, theatres cannot screen the film anywhere in Tamil Nadu.

Kamal said he would go to the Supreme Court against the order.

The film was also banned in Malaysia and Sri Lanka after running in theatres for two days.

5.20 pm: 

Time to reflect upon what Gandhiji stood for: T K A Nair

Noting that most people are consumed by their own little priorities, Prime Minister's Advisor T K A Nair today stressed on the need for imbibing Gandhian principle of trusteeship while managing state firms.

"Those who are good in the company, those who are looking after one or the other aspects of the economy of the country, they do that in trusteeship.

"You are not owners of what you manage but you hold that in trust...The concept of trusteeship is so relevant for the management of the PSUs," Nair said at a function here to mark the 65th death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

Though it has become "inevitable" to look after one's own priorities in the present circumstances, he said, there was a need to reflect upon Gandhi's sacrifices.

"We are living now in such circumstances that most of the time, most of us are consumed by our own little priorities, our own problems in life.

"Needless to say, it is inevitable. But on occasions like this, we have the time to reflect upon what Mahatma Gandhi stood for. Not the supreme sacrifices that he made but also the example that he set," the senior bureaucrat said.

Noted Gandhian Shobhana Radhakrishna highlighted areas, which the Father of the Nation had followed and practised each and every moment of his life, where corporate India can take a cue from and make it a better world for everyone.

She also talked about Gandhi's ethical leadership, values and sterling qualities by co-relating them with the core values of the companies for increasing efficiency and performance in global business environment.

4.26 pm:

Kamal Hassan to move Supreme Court tomorrow against Madras High Court's stay on Vishwaroopam.

4.00 pm:

Kamal's lawyer had this to say after the Madras HC's decision.

Bharat Raman ‏@Bharatlawman
#vishwaroopam Hugely disappointing news. Bench has set aside the well written order of stay. Action shifts to supreme court 4 final justice

3.45 pm:

Meanwhile the original ban enforced by the Tamil Nadu government on Vishwaroopam has come into effect again. The Madras High Court  has set aside yesterday's judgement allowing for the public screening of the movie. Vishwaroopam can't be screened till Wednesday, when the court takes up the case after the government counter. Kamal Haasan may move the Supreme Court.

3.20 pm:

Kamal Haasan has agreed to modify his movie Vishwaroopam as per the wishes of the Muslim community. "My Muslim family has reached out to me. I will do everything for my brothers. I have agreed to modify my film,' said the actor.

Kamal said he had received a list of objectionable areas in the movie including a few verses from the Quran. The actor said that he will modify his film accordingly.

Meanwhile reports indicate that petrol bombs were hurled at two theaters screening Vishwaroopam in TN.

'Now it is the duty of the govt to ensure that nothing happens to me, my film, my fans,' said Kamal

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3.00 pm:

Stars come out in support of Kamal and Vishwaroopam

Things are still up in the air.

The High Court has taken up the appeal from the Tamil Nadu government to reinstate the ban against Vishwaroopam.

Meanwhile, celebrities are tweeting their support of Kamal and his film.

Ranvir Shorey: Pandering to ethnic groups of bullies is what divides the nation, not films and books! #Vishwaroopam #BharatBananaHai

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2.00 pm:

Sad to see Kamal Haasan planning to quit India: Siddharth

Southern actor Siddharth says it is shocking to hear that Tamil superstar Kamal Haasan is planning to leave India because of "unfair persecution" on his film Vishwaroopam.

Watch Kamal's speech here

Haasan says that if the ban on his controversial film Vishwaroopam is not lifted, he might have to look for a "secular state" and that can be out of the country.

"Vishwaroopam screenings cancelled before starting and even stopped mid-show all over Tamil Nadu What a sad day. What a horrible week. Taliban Tamil Nadu," Siddharth tweeted.

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1.20 pm:

Fans take to Twitter in support of Kamal

Kamal Haasan underlined the fact that he is a secular man, a man who has "grown up listening to Periyar".

But the actor says he's upset and hurt by how political facions are treating him.

"The film shows have been stopped again and the police have sent away fans, asking for court order copy," said Kamal. "I have been thrashed in a political game."

Kamal's fans agree with the actor and took to Twitter to show their support. Here are a few postings:

Kollywoodcinema: Must take great skills on part of the state to make an artiste who's been acting for over 50 years to say "I'm fed up!" #Vishwaroopam"

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12.40 pm

Veteran actor Kamal Haasan says that if the ban on his controversial film "Vishwaroopam" is not lifted, he might have to look out for a "secular state" and that can be out of the country.

"I have lost all my property for the film, so I have nothing to lose, but choose now. If the judgment is not favourable for me, I have to look out for a secular state abroad. We will get away from this place but will have lot of good memories," the 58-year-old told reporters at a press conference here.

"If there is no secular state in India, I would go overseas. I think Tamil Nadu wants me out. What would change is my passport; I would still be an Indian. I have pledged all my property for the film. I have lost my house because of delay in release," he added.

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11.50 am:

Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party has filed a case against former BJP president Nitin Gadkari for issuing a threat against the IT officials who were involved in the raids conducted against him.

11.30 am:

No plans to run for president: Hillary Clinton

Outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says she still has "absolutely no plans to run" for president but is looking forward to more "adventures" down the road.

"I am lucky because I've been very healthy. I feel great. I've got enormous amounts of energy that have to be harnessed and focused, so I'm very fortunate," she told CNN in an exit interview Tuesday before she steps down.

Pressed further on whether she has ruled out another White House bid, Clinton said; "I have absolutely no plans to run."

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10.50 am:

Time for immigration reform: Obama

Seizing an emerging consensus on immigration reform, President Barack Obama asked the US Congress to act fast to offer a "pathway to citizenship" for over 11 million illegal immigrants, including 240,000 from India.

Unveiling his own plan at a campaign style event at a Hispanic majority high school in Las Vegas, Nevada, Obama Tuesday warned that if Congress does not act "in a timely fashion" he will propose a bill "and insist that they vote on it right away."

Declaring "now's the time" to replace a "badly broken" system, Obama said the overhaul must provide a "pathway to citizenship" for the illegal immigrants, 6.8 million or 59 percent of whom are from Mexico. El Salvador was a distant second with 660,000.

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10.20 am:

ISI behind killing of India soldiers along LoC, say Intelligence report

The killing of Lance Naik Hemraj Singh and Lance Naik Sudhakar Singh along the Line of Control was an operation headed by a serving ISI subedar, Jabbar Khan, of a unit based in Tattapani in Pakistan occupied Kashmir, reported CNN-IBN quoting intelligence reports accessed by the channel.

The team included 15 members of the Lashkar and the Jaish-e-Mohammad. The beheading was carried out by the Lashkar's Anwar Khan, for which he was rewarded Rs 5 lakh, the report said.

9.45 am:

Crucial, long-overdue BlackBerry makeover arrives

The maker of the BlackBerry smartphone is promising a speedier device, a superb typing experience and the ability to keep work and personal identities separate on the same phone. It's the fruit of a crucial, long-overdue makeover for the Canadian company.

Thorsten Heins, chief executive of Research In Motion Ltd., will show off the first phone with the new BlackBerry 10 system in New York on Wednesday. A marketing campaign that includes a Super Bowl ad will accompany the long-anticipated debut. Repeated delays have left the once-pioneering BlackBerry an afterthought in the shadow of Apple's trend-setting iPhone and Google's Android-driven devices.

Now, there's some optimism. Previews of the software have gotten favorable reviews on blogs. Financial analysts are starting to see some slight room for a comeback. RIM's stock has nearly tripled to $16.18 from a nine-year low in September, though it's still nearly 90 percent below its 2008 peak of $147.

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9.06 am:

India is firm on its stand that Hafeez Saeed, a key plotter in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, must be handed over to India by Pakistan. Home Minister Shinde has made this statement to NDTV. He also said that besides Saeed, all plotters involved in the Mumbai attacks must be handed over to India.

8.55 am:

Oscar hits the road to visit more than 10 US cities

Oscar is going on a road trip.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences says one of the golden statuettes that are handed out at the Academy Awards will visit at least 10 cities as part of Oscar's first national tour.

Fans can follow the Oscar statue's progress and even make suggestions for stops along the way.

The statuette will make appearances in Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Chicago, St. Louis, Kansas City, Mo., Houston, Dallas and Phoenix before arriving in Hollywood for the Academy Awards on Feb. 24. Fans in those cities will have a chance to pose for photos with the Oscar trophy.

8.20 am:

US Senators seek war crimes probe for Sri Lanka

Two senators are urging the Obama administration to seek an independent international investigation into allegations of war crimes in Sri Lanka.

Democrats Bob Casey of Pennsylvania and Patrick Leahy of Vermont sent a letter Tuesday to outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, saying Sri Lanka's government has done nothing to bring to justice those responsible for atrocities in the civil war that ended in 2009.

Thousands of civilians died in the final months of the war when the Sri Lankan military launched a decisive offensive against ethnic Tamil rebels. Sri Lanka set up a commission to investigate alleged abuses, but rights groups say the military is not being held to account.

The Obama administration has called for steps toward accountability but has not called for an international investigation.

8.00 am:

Myanmar abolishes 25-year ban on public gatherings

Myanmar's nearly 2-year-old reformist government has abolished a ban on public gatherings of more than five people that was ordered in 1988 on the day a military junta took power after crushing nationwide pro-democracy protests.

The state-run Myanma Ahlin newspaper reported Tuesday that Order No 2/88 was abolished as it was not in line with a section of the constitution that says existing laws should remain valid as long as are not contrary to the constitution, which guarantees basic rights such as freedom of expression.

The order had been applied selectively to crush dissent against the military regimes that held power until the elected government of President Thein Sein took office in 2011. His administration has instituted political liberalization, including lifting strict censorship.

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7.30 am: 

Mexican officials say they have broken up a bizarre cult that allegedly ran a sex-slavery ring among its followers on the U.S. border.

Mexico's National Immigration Institute says 14 foreigners have been detained in the raid on a house near Nuevo Laredo, across the border from Laredo, Texas.

Those detained include six Spaniards, and two people each from Brazil, Bolivia and Venezuela. One person from Argentina and one from Ecuador were also detained, the institute announced Tuesday.

The institute said Tuesday that 10 Mexicans were also found at the house in filthy conditions, and are presumably among the victims of the cult.

The institute said the sect's leaders called themselves "The Defenders of Christ" and made members of the cult pay quotas, which they apparently paid with forced labor or sex.

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