Tuesday, Sep 16, 2003
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By Our Special Correspondent
A day after shooting crew packed up from the rural locales, Mr.Kamal Haasan came up with an appeal to the media not to give a "political or terrorist" colour to what was only an "administrative decision" by the production unit.
"With 70 per cent of my yet-to-be named film completed, we decided to shoot some song-and-dance sequences and scenes featuring lakes and jallikattu in villages near Dindigul.
However, as the lakes, which normally brims over in this season, are dry and because there was a delay in obtaining the necessary equipment for shooting the jallikattu, we have shifted the shooting to Chennai," he said in a statement.
As for the new title of his film, he said it would be announced at the time of the release of audiocassettes.
The original title of the film `Sandiyar' courted controversy a few months ago with the Dalit outfit, Puthiya Thamizhagam, protesting that it connoted violence. With the police refusing permission for shooting in Theni district, Mr.Kamal Haasan, after a meeting with the Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa, in Chennai, announced that the title would be changed.
Meanwhile, the Puthiya Tamizhagam president, K.Krishnasamy, denied that his partymen had any role in the cancellation of the shooting. "The Puthiya Tamizhagam is not responsible for stalling the shooting this time. Only Mr.Kamal Haasan could be held responsible (for it)," he told the media here.
He said he decided to call off the protest against the film after Mr.Kamal Haasan dropped the controversial title. Hence, there was no question of his partymen having disrupted the shooting.
However, he would continue to campaign against "violence and vulgarity" in Tamil films, but would reserve his comments on Mr.Kamal Haasan's movie till it was released.
The Dalit outfit leader said he "put on hold" his proposed protest against "obscenity" in the recently-released movie `Boys', as the producer voluntary censored objectionable scenes.
He, however, said he would be "satisfied" with the cuts only after a 100-member committee, appointed by his party, confirmed that the censored portions were not shown in all theatres.
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