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Emotional Kamal Haasan says TN does not want him

Chennai, Jan 30 (PTI): Actor-director Kamal Haasan, upset by the State’s attempts to block his film Vishwaroopam, said Tamil Nadu does not want him to stay and he might seek a “secular” place in the country or overseas.

“When M F Hussain can do it, Kamal Haasan will do it... I am fed up. I am an artiste. After that, I will have to seek a secular state for my stay... Secular state from Kashmir to Kerala, excluding Tamil Nadu... Tamil Nadu wants me out,” he said in a choked voice as the fate of the movie is still to be decided in the court.

The actor said he had pledged all his property to make the trilingual movie, estimated to have cost around Rs 100 crore. He said he might lose his house because of the losses incurred by the delay in the release of the movie.

Haasan said he was still to get interim relief as the film shows were “started and stopped” by police on Wednesday, who sought a physical copy of the single judge's order passed on Tuesday night.

“...But I believe that along with my Muslim friends, I have been instrument in a political game. I don't know who is playing and not even hazarding the guess. The fact remains that my history has proven that I have been neither leaning to the left or right but trying to maintain my position,” Haasan said.

He said he would wait for the judgement of the Madras High Court where the Tamil Nadu government on Wednesday moved swiftly to file an appeal against the interim relief given by the single judge.

“Now I shall wait for the afternoon judgement but after this... I think I will have to see a secular state for me to stay in. I have nothing to lose. I might as well choose a place, which would house an artiste like me.

”I will learn in another couple of days whether I will be able to find a secular state in India or not. I will find, hopefully, another country which is secular that might take me in,” Haasan said.

Clad in a black shirt, Haasan addressed reporters at his office, which was once the house where he grew up.

Making a jocular remark at the title 'Universal Hero' that precedes his name in film title-cards, he said his brother Chandrahaasan, 18 years elder to him, had suggested he could go anywhere in the world, referring to his intentions of leaving Tamil Nadu.

On pledging all his property to make the movie, the national award winning actor said this was nothing new for him as he had bounced back from similar situations twice before.

“And I am sure that even if I may not have a house to stay in, I would still have homes to feed me,” he said in an apparent reference to his fans.

Holding that the court had placed priority on law and order against an individual's economic issues, he said he was ”even prepared to lose my entire property” for peace.

He said he was particular that Muslims are given a fair space in his monitored welfare movement.

“I don't understand these things, and if I do, I would become a politician,” he said.

Reacting to the controversy surrounding the film, Leela Samson, chairperson of the Central Board of Film Certification, said that it was “unjustified”.

“This puts the entire film industry and the artistic creative spirit of Indian people under a strain. How will people express themselves freely? And he (Haasan) is not irresponsible. I have seen a lot of irresponsible film but this is not one. So I think it is absolutely unjustified,” Samson said.


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