Viswaroopam: Muslim groups want prior screening of film

published on January 7, 2013

Controversies surrounding Kamal Hassan’s upcoming ‘Viswaroopam’ refuse to die down with some Muslim groups demanding that the film be screened to them prior to its January 11 release, expressing concern over the depiction of the community in the movie.

A total of 23 organisations under the banner of Federation of Islamic Movements and Political Parties claimed the actor had a history of portraying Muslims in “bad light” in his earlier movies ‘Hey Ram’ and ‘Unnai Pol Oruvan’ (the latter being a remake of Hindi superhit ‘A Wednesday’, with the actor donning the role played by Naseruddin Shah in the original).

“There are not only reports but we also have reliable information that he has depicted Muslims and Islam in bad light. Let him screen the movie for us before releasing it. If there are objectionable scenes, they have to be removed. Else, we will be the first to support the film,” A K Mohammed Haneefa, coordinator of the federation said.

He said the demand had been placed with the actor, but he has not responded so far.

“We are a big community. Such depiction hurts us,” he said about the much anticipated big budget flick that stars among others, Shekhar Kapur and Rahul Bose.

Haneefa warned of “democratic protests”, should be held if their demand be not met and if the community was portrayed in objectionable way.

On pointed out about Hassan’s clarification earlier that the Muslims were not portrayed in a negative manner, he said ‘Hey Ram’ and ‘Unnai Pol Oruvan’ had done so.

The actor’s representatives were not available for comment.

‘Viswaroopam’ is already caught in a controversy with Hassan and a section of theatre owners in a tug-of-war over the actor’s decision to release the film on DTH platform also on January 10, a day ahead of its theatre release.

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