Haasan to Nandy
While the BJP avoided criticising the ban on the screening of Kamal Haasan’s Vishwaroopam in Tamil Nadu, fearing it would antagonise Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa, a cover story in the Organiser does not hesitate to assert that “it is strange that the ban on the movie should come so quickly” by “giving in to fringe elements who don’t number more than a few hundreds”. While the story focuses on Jayalalithaa’s justification, it laments that “when it comes to threats from fringe groups belonging to some minority communities the state prefers to take quick action for the fear of large-scale violence”.
The prominently displayed report, in fact, stretches its argument against the banning of Vishwaroopam to highlight the protests against Ashis Nandy’s comments about corruption and the inability of writer Salman Rushdie to travel to Kolkata to promote the movie based on Midnight’s Children. All of this is part of a trend that “reaffirmed the fact that India as a nation is still to come to grips with the modern ways of thinking that is prevalent in most of the developed world”.
The article does not, however, hesitate to punch holes in Haasan’s outbursts and Nandy’s arguments. It objects to Haasan’s threat to do an M.F. Husain, pointing out that even “Salman Rushdie could come and stay in Mumbai...” As for Nandy, the article objects to his alleged contention that West Bengal has been the cleanest state in the last few decades because the Left had been ruling it. It
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