Kamal Haasan not my rival in any way, why should I victimise him: Jayalalithaa

Kamal Haasan

Breaking her silence over the controversy surrounding the ban on Tamil film 'Vishwaroopam', Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Thursday said her government was willing to facilitate resolution of the crisis if Muslim outfits and actor Kamal Haasan could hammer out an agreement.

Coming under all-round attack over the two-week ban imposed in the wake of protests by Muslim outfits, Jayalalithaa defended the government's decision, saying it was based on intelligence inputs about likely violence and to maintain law and order.

Making it clear that she had no "personal grudge" against Haasan or "personal interest" in banning the movie, she said there was no question of curbing freedom of speech.

''Mr Kamal Haasan is not my rival in any way,'' Jayalalithaa said. ''He took a calculated gamble with the movie. It is a mega-budget movie, to produce which he has pledged his properties. This was the conscious decision of a man who is nearing 60 and is a responsible adult. How can he now blame the government?''

"Even at this stage, if Muslim organisations and Kamal Haasan are willing to sit and arrive at an amicable agreement, the Tamil Nadu government is willing to facilitate that," she said after holding talks with top officials.

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

The chief minister said over the last few days, there has been lot of "hysteria" whipped up in the media over 'Vishwaroopam' and "reckless" and "wild charges" had been levelled.

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. "We relied on Intelligence inputs," she said.

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