The fragile society
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The Tamil Nadu government has criticised Haasan for rushing to the court. Ever since the Vishwaroopam controversy erupted, there have been murmurs of the return of vendetta politics. The much decimated opposition parties now have a cause to rally around. Is Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa annoyed at Kamal expressing a desire, at a public function in December last year, to see a "dhoti-clad Tamilian" (an apparent reference to P. Chidambaram) as prime minister? Or did Kamal selling the TV rights of Vishwaroopam to Vijay TV, when they were supposed to go to Jaya TV, annoy the powers that be? These are of course unsubstantiated rumours. Jayalalithaa has dismissed these allegations as baseless at a press conference. But the rumour mills will grind overtime as long as the ban lasts. Jayalalithaa has now promised to facilitate the release once Kamal sorts out his problems with the minority groups.
Or is Jayalalithaa trying to woo minority votes, as she has been perceived to be close to Gujarat CM Narendra Modi? Political observers are convinced that Muslim votes will be crucial in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, in which the AIADMK has to win a substantial number to be a force at the Centre. There is a sense of dismay about these developments.
The good news is that the film industry seems to have rallied around Haasan, although there was lukewarm support in the beginning, with him planning to release the film on DTH, antagonising distributors and exhibitors. Everybody is now worried that a fringe group can hold up a release. The state government has already cast aspersions on the censor board, creating yet another controversy. Should films with the censor certificate wait till all fringe groups are satisfied? Or should the troublemakers certify a film before it goes to censors?