The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Kamal film in caste row

Chennai, June 11 (PTI): A Dalit party here has said the shooting of Kamalhaasan’s film Sandiyar (Rowdy) will spark communal clashes in the southern districts of Tamil Nadu.

The actor, who had planned to start the shooting at Chinnamanur and Bodinayaganaur in Theni district on Monday, cancelled his plans following threats by the Puthiya Tamizhagam.

When the muhurat of the film was held at Madurai a month ago, Kamalhaasan said the film was based on a caste clash. The actor had also sought police protection but Theni district police said staff shortage kept them from providing security.

The Puthiya Tamizhagam said it would not allow the film to be shot as it would create trouble. “We will not allow the film to be shot at any cost as it will spread sickle culture (violence), which is on the wane in the southern districts,” party chief K. Krishnasamy said.

But the All India Moovendar Munnetra Kazhagam, a Thevar-based party, has offered full protection to the film crew.

Its president, . Sethuraman, said he would organise a volunteer force to provide protection.

Kamal Hassan, who has returned here after cancelling the shooting, denied that his film would spread communal hatred and violence. “I am against all castes. How can I act in and produce a film which will encourage communal hatred,” he said.

The actor appealed to all not to agitate and to support the film. “Do not politicise the film. I am not a politician,” Kamal Hassan said, adding that people should see the movie before rushing to judgments.

The actor said he would meet chief minister Jayalalithaa, tell her the story of his film and seek protection for shooting the movie.

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