Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa said on Thursday that Kamal Haasan's movie Vishwaroopam was banned in the state due to fears of violent protests and not because she had a grudge against the actor.
Justifying the ban citing shortage of police to provide security at theatres, she said it was a purely law and order problem. "I do not have the police force to protect the 500-odd theatres in the state," Jayalalithaa said.
"I have no personal grudge, no personal interest in banning the movie," she told the media, while adding that her government decided to ban it for 15 days so that tempers could cool down and "both sides could have a discussion and come to an agreement".
Pointing out that the movie had also been banned in neighbouring states as well as Qatar, the UAE, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Singapore, the chief minister asked, "Was I responsible for all that?
The Tamil Nadu chief minister said trouble over the movie's release could have been avoided. "Had the film maker screened the movie for the Muslim leaders in the beginning itself, all this would not have happened," she said.
"Haasan called the Muslim leaders for a viewing only after he was set for release. And finally, he did call some Muslim leaders for a screening at his house. But after seeing the film, the Muslim organisations met the chief secretary and announced a series of agitations across the state," she added.
"After his return from the US, Haasan sought a meeting with me, but as he had by then already moved the Madras High Court, I could not have interfere in the subjudice case," Jayalalithaa added.
"Following Kamal Haasan coming out in favour of editing parts of the movie on Wednesday, I would suggest that if he and the Muslim organisation leaders can sit together and thrash out an amicable agreement, the Tamil Nadu government would do everything possible to take it from there," she added.