Films have been banned in States even after the censor board has cleared them. The board has no idea of the likely provocation a film may cause in a State, and how mob violence can worsen law and order. Only the Home Department of the State government, with its intelligence inputs, can decide on these things. That the Tamil Nadu government did not ban Vishwaroopam on mere apprehensions is amply borne out by incidents of violence in theatres that displayed the film’s banners.

If the police allow a crowd to gather and then stop the film, they will be blamed for not acting in time. If they use force against crowds resulting in some damage, will Kamal Haasan take responsibility? People will then say had the film been banned there would have been no violence. No one is saying Kamal Haasan should incur losses. The idea is to delay the film’s release, let the tempers cool, talk with Muslim groups and arrive at an amicable solution.

S. Pushpavanam, Tiruchi

I really wonder whether ours is a secular state. Why do we fear a movie? Are our religious convictions so weak that a film can affect them? Cinema is a popular art as well as an industry involving huge investment. Deferring the release of the movie will lead to huge monetary losses for the producer.

We don’t have pre-censorship for books or theatre performances. But for cinema, we have a censor board. Once it clears a film, it should be allowed to run. It is for those who see the film to decide whether it is good or not. It is not for a group of people or a few experts to decide how a person should apply his mind.

Aswathi Narayan, Alappuzha

Unfortunately, some vested interests have always threatened the creativity of artists. We should not give in to their pressure. It is the communal elements, not works of creative artists, which constitute a threat to our nation’s unity.

S. Navaneethan, Chennai

That an educated and experienced person like Kamal Hassan did not realise all these days that “secularism” in India means appeasing the minorities is surprising. Once the censor board clears a film, it should be allowed to be released. If not, why waste money on a censor board?

K.V. Rajan, Chennai

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