Kamal Haasan: Battle against censor in a progressive state

Monday, Feb 8, 2016,12:08 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

Boston | Actor Kamal Haasan, who is part of the reform committee of Central Board of Film Certification, said he was opposed to censorship but had no issues with certification, which should be there like a statutory warning.

Haasan, 61, in a fireside chat with students of Harvard University, said that the battle against censor is in a progressive state. First I would like to clarify that the battle against censor is in a progressive state. That’s why they are not called censor board any more. They are a certification board, the actor said, maintaining that the practice of censorship continues. Certification should be there like a statutory warning, he added.

The actor, whose 2013 film Vishwaroopam was initially banned in Tamil Nadu for 15 days and saw a release only after muting certain scenes, had in the past expressed reservations about the censor board guidelines. Haasan, however, had said that he had nothing against the people in the board. It (Censor Board) does stifle my creative freedom.

It is stifling my freedom. I have spoken of this to some of the board members, the officers. They are not out to destroy the film industry. They have a job, they are given a stipulation as a set of rules with which they operate. They all love cinema, he had said last year. Asked if he plans to invest in startups, Haasan said, Because of the dire state of affairs of my (film) industry, I myself am a start up.

The actor said he is currently working on a script with three of his American friends and the movie would be in English. I hope to direct that film also, he said. Acknowledging that piracy is a major issue for Indian film industry, the star alleged that there are efforts to intentionally allow black money to flourish.

Haasan argued that the government needs to treat the Indian film industry with respect and dignity. There is a strong voice coming from the industry, telling that you have no right to do that (fixing the maximum price of a movie ticket). Treat us like any other business. We would show you we are as good as IT. We could contribute to the exchequer by thousands of crores, if they do some little modification, Haasan said.

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