Chennai: The Madras High Court today dismissed a petition seeking a direction to film certification authorities to change the title of the Kamal Hassan starrer 'Dasavatharam' and delete some scenes, paving the way for the movie's release.
A Division Bench, comprising Justice K Venkatraman and M Satyanarayana, dismissed the case saying the name "Dasavatharam" was an ancient historical and religious one and nobody could object its usage since there was no intellectual property rights attached to it.
"As regards the deletion of some scenes the petitioner cannot demand for the same since they have not watched the film," the Bench observed. Describing the petitioner's claims of scenes in which Kamal Haasan allegedly steps on the 'OM' mantra and tramples on the Bhagawad Gita as "imaginary assumption of the petitioner," the Bench said that the scenes were only a fiction born out of imagination.
Since the petitioners had not watched the movie their apprehension lack substance, the Bench said while dismissing the case. The Bench also turned down the petitioner's contention that there were scenes depicting clashes between Vaishnavites and Saivites, which could lead to caste clashes, on the same ground that they had not watched the movie.
Earlier, counsel appearing for the producer Oscar K Ravichandran and Director K S Ravikumar had argued that the film did not carry scenes that would incite violence and said that the movie only glorified God as a supreme divine power.
The petitioner, International Sri Vaishnava Dharma Samrakshanna Society (SVDSS) represented by its president Swamy Govinda Ramanuja Dasan, had contended that the movie had scenes that offended Hindu sentiments, particularly that of Vaishnavites.
The case was based on clippings of the movie shown in a private Tamil television channel. Dasan had prayed for the deletion of scenes depicting clashes between Vaishnavites and Saivites and a few other scenes.
Also read the related stories in THE HINDU as follows:
|Court says title will not affect sentiments of the Hindus|
CHENNAI: The Madras High Court on Thursday dismissed two petitions against the film ‘Dasavatharam. The petitions had alleged that the film contained scenes which offended Hindus.
In its order, a Division Bench comprising Justices K.Venkataraman and M.Sathyanarayanan, said: “We are constrained to come to the conclusion that the apprehension of the petitioners at this stage before they could view the film could only be a surmise and without proof that there are certain scenes which will affect the Hindus, more particularly the Vaishnavites.”
The Bench said freedom of expression guaranteed under Art.19 (1) could not be curtailed on mere assumptions of the petitioners that the film contained certain scenes which would hurt the sentiments of Hindus.
There was no Intellectual Property Rights involved in the use of the title ‘Dasavatharam.’ The persons who view the film are not so illiterate as to take a view that it is 10 ‘avatars’ (incarnations) of Lord Vishnu.
“We are confident that the people at large will knowthat the hero of the film Kamal Haasan is acting in 10 different roles and that is why the film is named Dasavatharam.”
The usage of the title would not affect the sentiments of Hindus.
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