Government says the talks will be held today

The stalemate over the release of the film Vishwaroopam continued on Friday with both sides – Kamal Haasan’s Rajkamal Films International and the Federation of Tamil Nadu Muslims Social and Political Organisations – having approached the Principal Secretary (Home) with letters citing their willingness to hold talks.

By late night, the State government informed the parties that the talks would be held on Saturday.

While the Muslim groups led by the Federation, represented by its co-ordinator Mohammed Hanifa, told journalists at the Secretariat on Friday that they were willing to talk about the “objectionable sequences” to Rajkamal Films International, it looks like their insistence over the presence of filmmaker-actor Kamal Haasan might have postponed the talks. Rajkamal was represented by S.Chandrahasan, the actor’s elder brother and a partner of the production house.

Mr. Kamal Haasan left for Mumbai on Thursday to promote Vishwaroop, the Hindi version of the movie, and is expected to return to Chennai on Saturday.

The Federation presented its letter to the Home Secretary. Rajkamal Films International was represented by Mr.Chandrahasan and a few others.

Dismissing some speculations on the extent of cuts demanded over the movie, Manithaneya Makkal Katchi MLA Jawahirullah, who was has been holding deliberations with the Muslim Federation, told The Hindu that there were no specific demands and that some media were indulging in wild speculations. “We are ready to present our demands and hopefully achieve an amicable solution in a single sitting.”

Mr. Chandrahasan, in a telephonic conversation with The Hindu, said the initial grounds for the talks were set by both parties. He acknowledged that there was a demand that Mr. Kamal Hassan must be present for the talks.

A. Ismail, representing the Federation, said though Mr. Kamal Haasan had offered to cut a few scenes from the movie after a meeting with certain other group of Muslims, the Federation was yet know what the scenes were. He said there was no point speculating on the nature of the cuts until the talks started.

Opposition from Sunnath Jamath

Meanwhile, another Muslim organisation Tamil Nadu Sunnath Jamath issued a statement stating that it was alarmed that a group of 23 organisations were vehemently opposing the release of the movie, and alleged that the groups were professing an extremist ideology that clouded their perception. It also charged that the Federation did not consult the Government Chief Qazi on the issue.