Ban On Indian Film Lifted, Then Reimposed

An Indian judge in Madras has reimposed a ban on the $20-million feature Vishwaroopam, after it was lifted by a lower court a day earlier. Muslim groups have alleged that it portrays Muslims negatively and could result in communal divisions. The ban on the film, produced by actor Kamal Hassan, who also stars in it, was opposed by India's board of film censors, numerous Indian actors, and by several critics and Hindu newspaper columnists who called it unjustifiable. Nevertheless, Hassan said on Tuesday that he would agree to make changes in the film that he believed would placate the protesters. The Times of India reported today (Wednesday) that before the ban was reinstituted, theaters in two Indian cities showing the film were attacked by unidentified elements. In one case, a Molotov cocktail was thrown at the theater. On Tuesday, Hassan said that he had put up all of his property to raise funds to make the film and that he would go bankrupt if the ban was upheld, Leela Samson, head of the censor board maintained, What he [Hassan] is going through amounts to hounding. Said renowned Indian director Mahesh Bhatt, Kamal Hassan is a national treasure, an immaculate artiste. He has been subjected to humiliation. It is one of the darkest moment for the entire film fraternity.


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