The controversy over his film Vishwaroopam did not make actor Kamal Haasan angry but he felt "sorrow" and like Socrates, he would "sip the cup of poison" to speak his "freedom".
Speaking at a meeting, he said, "I am not angry (over the issue), only (felt) sorrow, that in a great country, free country like India, an artist would be insulted so. Because, very rarely have artists been responsible for riots.
"We (artists) are the people who can stick the world together... They can do so many wonders. We are doctors, actually. You suspect that man to be a rabble-rouser or rioter, that is an insult.
"I am a son of Socrates. If you give me a cup of poison, I will sip it and speak my freedom."
Showering praise on veteran Tamil director K Balachandar, Haasan said the former taught him bravery and valour.
The actor was speaking at a meeting organised here where several prominent Telugu film personalities including actor Nagarjuna, Dadasaheb Phalke award recipient D Ramanaidu, veteran directors K Vishwanath and Dasari Narayana Rao were present.
He said he learnt a lot from the seasoned directors like Vishwanath.
"I still feel like an assistant director. Personalities like Balachandar and Vishwanath come to my mind when I am directing," he said.
Haasan thanked the media for support during the controversy. "I did not know it will end this way. It was like a suspense story. The only strength came from media."
Vishwaroopam, made in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi, had faced opposition from some Muslim organisations, and was banned in Tamil Nadu for some time. It faced trouble in Andhra Pradesh too.