Even before it's release on August 23, John Abraham's Madras Cafe has run into controversy.
The actor, who is also producing this film, clears his stand and tells us why the film must not fall victim to political protests.
Tamil groups are planning to ban your film Madras Cafe?
We have told an honest story. There’s no need for anyone to get offended. I just heard about the demands for a ban. Some people in Tamil Nadu did see it. We don’t know how true it is but we’ve heard some groups want the film banned in Tamil Nadu. We’re going ahead with the 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?
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. We have been very careful about the politics.
Would you go ahead with the release without Tamil Nadu?
We’ll be releasing the film in Tamil Nadu. We have dubbed the film in Tamil, and we have the support of the local Tamil Nadu authorities and the entire government machinery there. They have found nothing objectionable in the film.
It seems like a tough situation for a new producer like you.
I am new to the business but if I have 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.
You sound like Govind Nihalani.
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 organisations object to my film. It’s up to the audience to accept or reject the film.