Madras HC lifts ban on Vishwaroopam

Last Updated: Wed, Jan 30, 2013 03:20 hrs

Chennai: The Madras High Court has revoked the Tamil Nadu government's two-week ban on Kamal Hassan's 'Vishwaroopam' today, six days after the ban was enforced. 

The Tamil Nadu government has said it will appeal against the ban. The government has aggressively defended the ban, dismissing the clearance it got from the censor board as a decision made "without the application of the mind."

The 95-crore film was supposed to have released last week, however it was banned after a few Muslim organizations protested against the film, claiming that it depicted Muslims in a bad light. 

The TN ban led the film to be banned in several other states and Malaysia as well, although the ban has been lifted in Karnataka earlier today. 

Kamal Hassan, whose losses due to the ban are estimated to be around 30 crore, called the entire event "cultural terrorism."  

The issues facing the film are far from over however. The delayed release of the film has now made its release problematic. Theatres have already started playing other films during the past week, so show timings and availability of screens has to be reassessed. 

Also the delayed release now puts the film in a clash with Mani Ratnam's 'Kadal', which is expected to release this week and has generated a huge buzz in Tamil Nadu. 

On the legal front as well, the film is not clear. The appeals against the lifting of the ban might take the producers all the way to the Supreme court. 

However, earlier precedent is on their side. The Supreme Court has already ruled two years ago that freedom of expression cannot be suppressed due to threats of protests or violence.

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