By Subhash K Jha
MUMBAI: John Abraham speaks to Subhash K Jha on why Madras Café must not be allowed to fall victim to political protests:
Q: Tamil groups have instrumented a ban on the Tamil version of your film Madras Café?
We’ve told an honest story. There’s no need for anyone to get offended.We’re going ahead with the Hindi release in Tamil Nadu since the film has been passed by the Indian censor board. They are the highest censorial authority in the country. If they have no objection to the film, why should anyone else?
Q: Protesters seem to object without seeing the film?
I can’t stop people who speculate for their own political agenda. Speaking for myself, I am a conscientious citizen and know my socio-political duties very well. And we’ve been very careful about the politics .
Q: Would you go ahead with the release without Tamil Nadu?
We’ll be releasing the film in Tamil Nadu.We’ve dubbed the film into Tamil, and we’ve the support of the local Tamil Nadu authorities and the entire government machinery there. They’ve found nothing objectionable in the film.
Q: Very tough situation for a new producer like you?
I am new to the business. But if I’ve to be a clutter-breaker I may have to make political statements. As a filmmaker I must be allowed to have my say in a democratic nation. No one can put a gun to my head and tell me what to make and what not to make.
Q: You sound like Govind Nihalani?
Very frankly, the courage to be a clutter-breaker comes from the audience. Vickey Donor was widely accepted. It really doesn’t matter if some political organizations object to my film. It’s up to the audience to accept or reject the film.