MADURAI: The Madras High court today stayed a lower court proceedings against actor Kamal Haasan, who had been ordered to appear before it to answer the charges of having made insulting remarks against the Mahabharata.
Justice N Athinathan of the high court’s Madurai bench also dispensed with the actor’s personal appearance.
A magisterial court of Valliyoor in Tirunelveli district had last month directed Haasan to appear before it on May 5 on a complaint filed by a local trader over his remarks made during a TV interview. Magistrate Senthil Kumar had on April 21 also ordered police to investigate the matter and file a report at the earliest on the complaint filed by president Athinatha Sundaram of Anjugramam Traders Association. The actor had yesterday moved the high court for quashing the complaint.
In his petition to the high court, the actor had submitted that he was only replying to a question asked by the interviewer regarding the oppression of women and the increasing sexual assaults on them, including the film actresses.
It was a discussion and he did not mean to hurt any person or his religious feelings, Kamal said in his petition.
Haasan submitted that the complaint against him had been filed with an oblique motive and he did not mean to offend any one. His statement should be understood in the true light of understanding, he said, adding, the magistrate had issued the summons mechanically.
The complaint in the lower court had alleged that the actor, in response to a question from the interviewer about the crimes against women, particularly in the film industry, had said the people in this country read even the epic Mahabharata, wherein a woman was staked in a game of dice.
“Is there anything more disgusting than oppressing a woman. On one side, we boast that we are a developed society and on the other side, women are being dominated in the name of pride. It seems like we haven’t moved on from the ‘Game of Dice’ incident of Mahabharatham,” the petitioner had said.
Hassan was referring to the Pandava brothers staking their wife Draupadi in a gamble with their cousins and arch enemies, the Kauravas.
Sundaram had said the actor’s remarks had hurt sentiments of Hindus and demanded maximum punishment for him.
The actor told the high court that a case had also been filed against him in Kumbakonam over the same issue.
Source: The New Indian Express