Jan 30 – Faced with the prospect of going bankrupt owing to the hurdles coming the way of releasing his much awaited big budget movie, ‘Vishwaroopam’, versatile actor Kamal Haasan on Wednesday said he was in search of a secular place to stay as Tamil Nadu wants him out.
A calm and composed Kamal, who at times was jovial with the media at his residence at Alwarpet in the city, made some plain speaking and did not hesitate to lay bare the difficulties he was facing and to take on the establishment.
“I am an artiste with no religious leanings and neither am I right or Left. I am fed up. I do not know what is going on. I am looking for a secular place in any other state. If I can’t find it in a couple of days, I’ll hopefully find a secular country overseas,” said the actor, betraying his frustration.
He also compared his plight with that of noted painter M F Hussain, who died in a self-imposed exile.”When M F Hussain can do it, Haasan will do it. I have to find a secular state where an artiste like me could stay, from Kashmir to Kerala, excluding Tamil Nadu. TN wants me out,” he said adding that he would continue to remain a Tamil.
Despite the heavy odds ranged against him, the playboy of South Indian cinema, put up a brave face even as reports poured in that the screening of the film was cancelled across the state even after the High Court lifted the ban late on Tuesday night.Admitting that the delay in releasing ‘Viswaroopam’ had landed him in a financial mess, the actor pointed out that he had pledged all his properties to money-lenders to mobilise the funds for the dream project,
Since his interaction with the media preceded the HC overturning the earlier order of a single Judge, lifting the ban, he said if the judgment was not favourable to him he would be deprived of the house, of which he had lot of memories and that it could be the last press meet there. “I had informed the creditors that they can attach his properties if the film did not recover its Rs.100 crore budget,” he revealed.”You know who is behind all this,” was his terse response to a question and he did not come forward to name anyone. But maintained that he as well his Muslim brethren have been used as pawns in a political game. “I truly wonder how this one movie could knock out the unity of the country,” he said.
This was not the first time he was facing such a situation. “I got bankrupt when I produced Rajaparvai and had to work for seven to eight years to come out of the losses. Then it was in 1986 because of my own doing. But, I have learned to pick up myself and will overcome this as well,” a confident Kamal noted.”I could not be defeated. For, like a seed I will go down and sprout like a huge tree. Not as a single tree but as a grove,” was the actor’s words to his adversaries.Later around the time the HC order came, a delegation of Muslim leaders, including Congress MP J M Haroon and IUML vice-president Khader Mohideen, called on the actor and held discussions.
Emerging after the meeting, Kamal said the issue has been settled amicably and he was prepared to scissor certain scenes from the movie which involve the Holy Koran.
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