Jaya blames Haasan for Vishwaroopam standoff

Justifying the ban on Kollywood actor-director Kamal Haasan's controversial trilingual flick 'Vishwaroopam', Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa put the blame on him for the standoff and said she is ready to facilitate truce. The chief minister in a press meet on Thursday explained the government's stand on the issue and said that she was willing to facilitate resolution of the crisis if Muslim outfits and Haasan could hammer out an agreement.

She said: "Over the last few days, a lot of hysteria has been whipped up in the media over the film Vishwaroopam. Various reckless and wild charges have been made by certain personalities and certain sections of the media. Many discussions have taken place, a lot of criticism has been voiced and many comments have been made without properly understanding the circumstances. Therefore, it is necessary to clarify all the misconceptions."

Apparently concerned about the criticism from different quarters over the two-week ban imposed on the movie, Jayalalithaa defended the government's decision, saying it was based on intelligence inputs about likely violence and to maintain law and order. She made it clear that she had no personal grudge against Haasan or any personal interest in banning the movie. There was no question of curbing freedom of speech.

Blaming the actor for the developments, Jayalalithaa said, "If Kamal Haasan had shown the movie to Muslim leaders in the beginning, all this could have been avoided."

She said the threat to law and order was very real and many Muslim outfits had announced a series of agitations. The primary objective of the government was to maintain peace and tranquility. The government relied on intelligence inputs. "As chief minister of Tamil Nadu, my first and foremost priority is maintenance of law and order and to ensure public peace in which people can carry on with their daily lives and work," Jayalalithaa said.

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