Trouble in Mumbai: Muslim groups want Vishwaroop cut, threaten to move court

Kamal Haasan

Kamal Haasan-starrer Vishwaroop may run into trouble in Mumbai as well with Muslim organisations threatening to approach Bombay High Court (HC) if objectionable scenes in the film are not cut out.

Distributors in the state have said the prints available with them are without cuts.

"We have heard there are scenes that are highly objectionable. We will file a PIL in Bombay High Court if these are not cut out," Maulana Burhanuddin Qasmi, director of Markazul Maarif, said.

The socio-religious organisation provides modern English education through madrassas.

Asked if he had seen the film, Qasmi replied in the negative. He said their protest was based on information that the film had highly objectionable content.

"There are scenes where an ayat from the Quran is playing in the background while people are being killed. Making the hero Muslim does not mean the film is not offensive," he said.

Kamal Haasan has agreed to delete the controversial scenes from the original Tamil version of Vishwaroopam, but a cut is unlikely in the Hindi version titled Vishwaroop.

Distributor Balaji Motion Pictures confirmed this. Company CEO Tanuj Garg SMSed there were no cuts in the film.

Azimuddin, coordinator of federation of minorities NGOs of Maharashtra, also said Muslim organisations would strategise on opposing the film Friday.

The groups are also likely to protest Race 2 over some Quranic verses printed on posters of the film in Kolkata.

Many other social groups condemned the planned protests.

"In various films I have seen dacoits praying before looting. Those scenes were not deemed offensive. This opposition is a ploy by clerics to stoke a needless controversy," social activist Fareed Batatawala said.

Vishwaroop will not have a Tamil release in the Mumbai circuit. The Hindi version will release across 300 screens here.

Theatre owners are confident of the film's performance. Manoj Desai, owner of the G7 multiplex in Bandra (West) and Maratha Mandir in Dadar, said Vishwaroop will screen at both his properties. "We are not worried about ticket sales. It should do well," he said. His G7 multiplex sees a significant Muslim audience from the neighbourhood. Yet, Desai does not fear any disruption or violence.

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