Thursday, January 31, 2013

Karuna's dream project scrapped.....

Declining to interfere with a major policy decision of the AIADMK government, the Madras High Court upheld the shifting of the Legislative Assembly-cum-Secretariat complex back from the Omandurar Government Estate to Fort St. George and the plan to convert the structure into a multi super-specialty hospital and a government medical college.
Dismissing petitions challenging the shifting of the Secretariat and the proposal to use the building as a hospital, a specially-constituted Division Bench comprising Justices K.N. Basha and N. Paul Vasanthakumar said the decision to convene the sitting of the Legislative Assembly and the Secretariat was purely a matter of internal procedure adopted by the Legislature. This court was not entitled to interfere in the said decision, particularly when no violation of any constitutional provision was attracted.
The decision to establish the hospital was announced in the Assembly, which also approved it. It was a policy decision to convert the complex into a hospital. The court said the decision to convert the structure could not be stated to be arbitrary. The policy would promote and protect public interest, more particularly, weaker sections for getting better and expert treatment for serious ailments.
It is made clear that the government should take all necessary steps for giving treatment to the poor and deserving people free of cost. The petitions were filed by R. Veeramani and S.A. Miyajan.                Mr. Veeramani, contended that the government’s decision was arbitrary and opposed to public interest. The decision to convert the Assembly-cum-Secretariat complex, which was specifically designed and constructed for that purpose, into a hospital was due to non-application of mind and based on no material.
Accepting the submission of Senior Counsel Rakesh Dwivedi and Advocate-General A.Navaneethakrishnan, the Bench said on a perusal of Art.174 of the Constitution (Sessions of State Legislature, prorogation and dissolution), it was evident that the Governor should from time to time summon the House to meet at such time and place as he thought fit. The provision nowhere stated that the same would apply only for first sitting as contended by the petitioner’s counsel. The words used were ‘from time to time’ and ‘to meet at such time and place.’ Messrs.Justices Basha and Paul Vasanthakumar said for implementing the decision to establish a hospital, an expert committee was constituted which visited the Omanthurar Government Estate along with technical experts, including architects. Based on their opinion further steps were taken for converting the ‘A’ Block of the new structure into a hospital. The government’s decision was perfectly valid and legal.
The government decision could not be stated to be arbitrary or hasty without any material on record. If a multi-super specialty hospital was established, it would promote public interest. The authorities had obtained environmental clearance and a no objection certificate from the Fire and Rescue Services Department for the conversion of the new building. Applications had been made to the TNPCB and the CMDA.
As the issue of grant of environmental clearance for the conversion was pending before the National Green Tribunal, the court said it could not go into that aspect. It was the authorities’ specific stand that the present endeavour was not to make any new construction, but only to modify the existing structure.
As per the submission before the court, the present government had proposed to spend Rs.26.94 crore to change the Assembly complex as a Multi-Super Speciality Hospital. Fort St. George would be renovated at a cost of Rs.28 crore.

Work begins to convert into hospital:
Within hours of the Madras High Court upholding the government’s decision to convert the Assembly-cum-Secretariat complex on the Government Estate on Anna Salai into a multi-super-specialty hospital, the authorities lost no time in beginning construction. Trucks carrying sand and other construction material and earth-movers moved into the complex late in the evening and helmeted workers and supervisors got busy. Officials said the work had begun on both the hospital in Block A and the proposed medical college in Block B.
Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, inaugurated the new complex in ‘A’ Block on March 13, 2010. In the new building, the first session was held during April and May 2010, second session in November that year, third in January 2011 with the Governor’s address and the four sessions was in February 2011.

The six-storey structure which spans an area of 9.3 lakh sq ft will now house a super specialty hospital.

Emergency & Outpatient ward, Cardiology, Cardiothoracic surgery, neurology and neurosurgery
Clinical outpatient ward, surgical oncology, hand reconstruction surgery and vascular surgery
Diagnostic labs (microbiology and pathology labs), administration office
General Ward
Special Ward
Operation Theatre
Block B
Medical College (to be built)

June 2008: Former Chief Minister M Karunanidhi lays foundation stone
March 2010: Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh inaugurates the complex
February 2011: Interim budget presented in the new Assembly
May 2011: Chief Minister Jayalalithaa abandons secretariat complex and takes oath in Fort St. George
August 2011: Jayalalithaa announces a multi-specialty hospital and medical college in the secretariat premises
January 30, 2013: Begins to work as hospital

Supreme Court quashed the petition filed on this issue and said the same reason said by the Madras High Court.

Kamal's interview abt Vishwaroopam

The support for Kamal Haasan spiked today (Jan 31, 2013) with prominent film stars and directors in Chennai and Bollywood rallying around the actor-director whose film Vishwaroopam has been banned for two-weeks by the Tamil Nadu government. The actor has acknowledged this in his press conference today. Here are the highlights:
·It was very arrogant of me to say I was standing alone. You were with me, I am thankful to the media.
·A request to India, my Muslim, Jain brothers: we have a lot more work to do. This kind of squabbling will not take us forward.
·Don't disrespect artists; they are your ambassadors not politicians
·The amount of support I got from Muslims was unbelievable
·When my Muslim friends came and read their 'duas' and asked for me to forgive them, I was moved. That is true India.
·If this happens again, I would seriously think of leaving the country.
·I am not threatening, I am hurt. This is my country.
·Oscars are for Americans, I want to get Indian Awards. My films are made for Indian people.
·The only thing I want to clarify is that I am rational - for me not religion, it is people who matter.
·My only request to the government is that in case a few Muslims were arrested- it was because they were led by rabble rousing, they were pushed to anger by misinformation. They are my brothers I have nothing but love for them.
·Top stars hung around as if they were my production managers - asking me if I wanted tea or coffee.
· I am not saying sorry for saying I wanted to leave the country. I was angry, I still am.
·Why is it that we fall prey to divisions every time? I have had problems with Hindu brothers.
·Look at my films, do you see hate in it? How can people from my home state accuse me? That was the reason for my anger.
·So many of the Bollywood stars came forward. I must thank all of them.
·Islam is not targeting me. It is politics, not religion.
·I just thanked Jayalalithaa that she came forward. I think she has understood now. She is an artiste, she has come forward.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister on Vishwaroopam controversy

Tamil Nadu CM on Vishwaroopam issue

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa spoke to the media in Chennai on Jan 31, 2013. Here are the highlights:
·  There have been comments made that it is duty of the state govt to maintain law and order.
· As the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, my first priority is maintenance of law and order and ensure public peace.
· Most people don't understand what is involved in maintaining law and order.
· There has been a lot of hysteria about the movie in the media over the last few days.
· Reckless, wild charges have been made.
·Various Muslim organisations had submitted memorandum to the govt and met the Home Secretary and demanded a ban on Vishwaroopam.
· They had also announced various demonstrations and there was apprehension that these protests could turn violent.
·When Intelligence reports were received on possibility of violence, it would have been difficult to provide security to 524 theatres.
·Actual strength of Tamil Nadu police is 91,000. If you deduct personnel required for special unit, we have 87,000 police personnel for a population of over 7 crore.
·If intelligence tell us that there is likely to be trouble, govt would take preventive action.
·The strength required for one theatre for three shifts is 60. So the manpower required for 524 is 31440.
·In addition there has to be patrolling that would require another 11,000 police personnel.
·In sensitive areas, we need additional pickets and need a striking force ready in each district. So all in all, if Vishwaroopam was released, the total manpower required would be 56440. However, there are just over 9000 personnel available.
·It is the duty of the government to maintain law and order and prevent violent incidents from occurring. It is the duty of the govt to take preventive action and it is only in that spirit that we approached the issue.
·There have been accusations against me of having private interests in this. Jaya TV does not belong to me and I do not own any shares in Jaya TV. It is a channel that supports AIADMK.
·To say that there was a demand that the film should have been sold to Jaya TV is a wild reckless charge against the constitutional authority and we will take legal action.
· Kamal Haasan has the freedom to air political views and if he wants a veshti clad politician as the PM then that is his opinion.
·Mr. Kamal Haasan doesn't select the PM.
·Kamal Haasan has taken a calculated risk in making the movie, pledging all his property. How can the govt be responsible?
·I know nothing about the movie personally, nor have i met any of the Muslim leaders agitating.
· State govt has full powers to ban a movie. If I really wanted a ban, we could have it banned straightaway. We did not do that. Hence, it proves that this is not political vendetta.
·  Mr. Kamal Haasan is not my rival in any way.
·  The reason why we did it under sec 144 is that tempers should cool down and both sides can come to an agreement.
·  Mr. Kamal Haasan avoided showing the movie to the Muslim representatives.
· Almost a month went by and there was again a delay in the release due to problems with theatre owners.
· At the last moment on Jan 21 he showed movie to Muslim representatives and on Jan 22 they decided that they did not want the movie released.
· If the leaders of Muslim organisations and Kamal Haasan can work out an amicable agreement then the govt will do everything to facilitate that.
· The decks could be cleared for screening the movie.
· There were several violent incidents in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. The film is banned in Singapore, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Qatar and UAE. Am I responsible for it?
· In Andhra there is a Congress govt, in Karnataka a BJP govt - it is ridiculous to blame me for whatever has transpired.
· The threat to public peace, law and order is very real.
· Muslims organisations called off agitations after govt announced prohibitory orders.
· We have no intention of curbing freedom of speech or harming Kamal Haasan.

Actor Kamal's interview

Leave Cauvery row to court: Congress

For the second time in three weeks, the Congress Core Group met in New Delhi to discuss the Cauvery dispute between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, with Union Water Resources Minister Harish Rawat invited once again to brief the apex body. The view taken at the meeting was that the Centre should leave resolution of the dispute to the Supreme Court.
This came after the court, earlier in the day (Jan 29, 2013), suggested to Tamil Nadu that it take up the matter with the Cauvery Water Authority, headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, as Karnataka remained firm that it could not spare any water. Mr Rawat, informed the Core Group of the conflicting claims of the States as well as the current availability of water in the Cauvery. He said legal opinion would have to be taken from the Law Ministry.
Those who attended the meeting included the Prime Minister, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram and Defence Minister A.K. Antony.
Meanwhile, government sources said the Centre might not be able to postpone notification of the final award of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal for much longer. This comes against the backdrop of Tamil Nadu urging the Centre to notify it, even as Karnataka’s embattled Chief Minister Jagdish Shettar has written to both the Prime Minister and Mr. Rawat, asking them not to do so. However, the government sources stressed, on the issue of the final award, Karnataka had taken conflicting positions: while its legal counsel agreed that the award had to be accepted, the Chief Minister opposed it.
Centre eyes for Assembly elections in Karnataka:
For the Congress, which is hoping to return to power in Karnataka when it goes to the polls later this year, largely because the ruling BJP is in disarray, the Cauvery dispute poses a challenge. Senior Congress leader says that, while it was no longer an emotional issue in the State, the Janata Dal (Secular) would try to make it an election issue as its strength and influence lie in the districts that are in the Cauvery basin. He admitted that the role of the Congress-led UPA government was being closely observed in the State, though it had little role to play in the final outcome as the matter was before court. He said the JD(S) would try and pin the blame on the Congress and the BJP if things did not go in favour of Karnataka. The BJP, too, would hold the Congress responsible for the final outcome.
The Congress, therefore, has to look as neutral as possible in the dispute it is to emerge unscathed.

Too much focus on Vishwaroopam?

                For the past two-three days, TV channels are debating about Vishwaroopam film in a lot. Right from Censor Board Chief to Prakash Raj and Dhanush are speaking EXCLUSIVELY to TV Channels.. My question comes here is,

Is Cinema much more important than the problems faced by common citizens?

When Tamil Nadu faced step-motherly attitude by Centre in most of the cases. Here are some 

  • Not asking Karnataka to release Cauvery water to TN even after SC rules out
  • Sri Lankan Tamil issue
  • Not forcing Kerala to do anything in Mullaperiyar Dam issue that will harm the secular 
  • Kudankulam Power project (Whether it will execute or not?)
  • Temporary solution for electricity crisis faced by TN.....
  • For all these, the so called media channels never gave so much attention at all.
Is Freedom of Speech and Expression (that too for Artists) is only important to be discussed for them?
Totally double-standard by each and everyone in India. So who to blame for this?
Why Vishwaroopam alone getting too much focus? There are several films that are not made to release in past years in TN and some other states (As the present is associated with Kamal, there is huge cry over this)

My another doubt: How come the same film (Vishwaroopam), can be given U certificate in Hindi and U/A certificate in Tamil and Telugu versions?

The present Indian scenario can be put in simple such as

Minority rules Majority
Reservation rules Exam
Cinema and Cricket rules Media
Media rules India

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

TImeline: Battle of Vishwaroopam

How Kamal fought “Cultural Terrorism”?
Jan 24, 2013
Kamal Haasan's film shown red light
Vishwaroopam is banned for two weeks by the Tamil Nadu government after protests from Muslim groups. Kamal Haasan describes the ban as “cultural terrorism” and moves court.
Jan 25, 2013
Not yet, says the judge
In a setback for Kamal Haasan, the Madras High Court rules that Vishwaroopam cannot release till January 28, after it is reviewed by a judge.
Jan 25, 2013
Rajini opens his mouth after couple of days
After much delay, Tamil superstar Rajinikanth appeals to Muslim groups to help release the film. He says, "I request Muslim brethren to give up their demand to ban Vishwaroopam. Please discuss with Kamal how to make changes without affecting the storyline."
Jan 25, 2013
The blackout spreads to other states
Vishwaroopam releases in Andhra Pradesh but later screenings are cancelled. Karnataka does not allow the film in theatres. Limited screenings in Kerala see Kamal Haasan fans flocking to the state from Tamil Nadu.
Jan 26, 2013
A judicial screening
Justice K Venkatraman of the Madras High Court watches Vishwaroopam. After too much of delay, DMK chief M Karunanidhi urges Muslim groups to resolve differences with Kamal Haasan.
Jan 26, 2013
Bad news from abroad for Vishwaroopam
Malaysia pulls Vishwaroopam from theatres a day after it releases after a directive from the Home Ministry. Sri Lanka also delays release and orders a review by censors.
Jan 28, 2013
Still waiting amid behind-the-scenes turmoil
The Madras High Court defers the hearing and decision on the ban. It asks Kamal Haasan to explore an “amicable settlement” with the state government. Sources say Kamal Haasan is asked to re-edit the film and cut it down by an hour, adding that he is unlikely to agree to this demand.
Jan 29, 2013
Milord, the case for and against
Arguments are presented in the Madras High Court. Kamal Haasan’s lawyer calls the ban is “unconstitutional.” The Tamil Nadu government defends the ban, which over-rules clearance by the censor board, calling the censor sanction a “scam.”
Jan 29, 2013
Full house in Bangalore
Vishwaroopam releases in Karnataka amid police security. The film opens to packed houses.
Jan 29, 2013
Finally, the green light on but made to turn into Yellow
The Madras High Court lifts the ban but Kamal Haasan isn’t past the finish line yet. How quickly the film can start playing in Tamil Nadu theatres now depends on their availability. Soon TN Govt applied for a stay of the interim order. Puducherry Govt lifts the ban. The Madras HC (Acting) Chief Justice is to hear the case now.

Kamal on Vishwaroopam battle

விஸ்வரூபமாகி போன விஸ்வரூபம்

Too much of focus on Vishwaroopam by media

Kamal Haasan on Vishwaroopam battle

Actor Kamal Haasan reacts on  Tamil Nadu government's appeal against High Court verdict that allows big-budget thriller 'Vishwaroopam' to release in the state.

Here are the highlights:

·        I've pledged all my property for the film.
·        The story setting is in Afghanistan. I wonder how it is about Indian Muslims.
·        Police have sent away fans asking for court order copy.
·        I've lost my house because of the delay in its release.
·        I've been made an instrument along with Muslim friends.
·        I do not know who is playing the game.
·        One man's money, his film is not important in terms of a nation.
·        I wonder how one movie could knock this mighty nation's unity.
·        I need a secular place to settle. If there's no secular place in India, I would go overseas.
·        After this I will have to seek a secular state for me to stay in - from Kashmir to Kerala - excluding Tamil Nadu... I will look for a state to stay.
·        If I cannot find in India, I will hopefully find another secular country that will take me in.
·        MF Hussain had to do it,  Haasan will do it.
·        I think Tamil Nadu wants me out.
·        I only want to stay in a secular state. However, that does not mean I will not make Tamil films.
·        I am not angry with my people.
·        I have the protection - it is only the free will to speak that is being denied.
·        I want to be a secular man.
·        I am not blaming one religion.  I am fed up. I am just an artiste, I am godless.
·        My fans will keep peace, and that includes a lot of Muslims.
·        I had shown the movie to my Muslim brothers as they are my brothers.
·        For the sake of this film, I have hawked my house to a moneylender.
·        My talent would remain with me.
·        I have full confidence in judiciary.
·        I've zero tax arrears.
·        I don't disown Tamil Nadu.

About the “Vishwaroopam” (in Tamil)