Actor-producer John Abraham, whose upcoming release Madras Cafe has run into trouble with several pro-Tamil outfits, is determined to take his film to the theatres on its scheduled release date.
Helmed by Vicky Donor director Shoojit Sircar, the spy thriller traces the RAW (Research and Analysis Wing) and Sri Lankan rebel group LTTE's (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) activities during the Sri Lankan civil war through an agent, played by Abraham.
In the wake of MDMK leader Vaiko and Naaam Thamizhar Katchi (We Tamils Party) founder Seeman's demands to ban the film, alleging that it has portrayed the outlawed LTTE in bad light, John said at a press conference that he won't fall prey to bullying tactics.
"I respect everybody's opinion. I respect Mr Vaiko's point of view and Mr Seeman's perspective. But it is very important that they also respect our opinion. This is a democracy.
'If the Censor Board has no objection with the film's content and has given us an U/A certificate, then I don't think there is anything wrong with the film. They are most welcome to go and raise their objections. And in our part, we
will definitely take the film to the audience," John said at a press conference.
Sircar too expressed his angst over the issue and said that in a democracy, creativity should not be held on gun point.
"As a director, I can only make a film and show it. Like a political party, we cannot just begin any protest against what is being done to us. Freedom of speech is important in a democracy. None is above Censor Board and they don't have a right to ban any film unless the President or Supreme Court has passed any orders," he said.
Earlier this year, Kamal Haasan's Vishwaroopam was not allowed to be screened in theatres across Tamil Nadu.
More recently Vijay starrer Thalaivaa was not released in the state on the scheduled date. The film finally hits theatres today.
"Whatever is happening in Tamil Nadu is wrong. I request them not to speculate much about the film. Let the people watch it and then decide. They can't force people not to watch the film. It is against the law," Sircar said.
Madras Cafe also stars Nargis Fakhri, who plays a war correspondent and will mark the debut of actress Rashi Khanna.
The film opens in theatres on August 23.