A ban doesn’t always work

A lot is being said about the controversy over Kamal Haasan’s film Vishwaroopam and its ban in Tamil Nadu.

Interestingly, there was another movie a few months ago, that labeled all Hindu customs and symbols as hoaxes and all spiritual leaders as frauds. There were many Hindu organizations who were ready to protest, but my advice to them was not to give undue publicity and promote the movie by protesting against it. And that’s what happened – it ran for a few weeks and people forgot about it. If you want to make a movie popular, ban it and protest against it. It will only benefit the moviemaker and once they get a taste of this, they continue making similar movies.

People know movies are fiction and need not be taken seriously. In spite of all that was said in this movie, the actors themselves go to temples. It has not been able to put an end to idol worship or people visiting ashrams. In this sense, the movie has not made a big dent in the culture or an impact on the people. Similarly, ‘Da Vinci Code’ was a movie on Jesus’s life that came out a few years ago. It ran all over the world, even in Italy, but it was banned in Tamil Nadu.

In this world, you cannot legally ban everything everywhere. Many such things that have been banned are available anyway, including Salman Rushdie’s books and DVDs of ‘Da Vinci Code’. I would appeal to the Muslim community not to insist on keeping the ban on Vishwaroopam when it may not be possible legally. By banning such things, not only people from other communities but Muslims themselves become curious to see what wrong things have been written or shown.

Even after a ban, people find ways to get these things. Already, there are copies of the movie on the internet. People are so active and expressive over social media that anybody can write anything about anyone. There is no control. This being the situation, it may not do any good by simply protesting. Rather, the result might be contrary to what you intend and more people might end up watching the movie. A ban would also earn a bad name for the Muslim community that it is extremist or intolerant or promotes cultural terrorism. We don’t want such tags on our Muslim brethren. For several centuries, Hindus and Muslims have lived with such kinship. I want to assure our Muslim brethren that the mutual respect between Hindus and Muslims in Tamil Nadu is so good that nobody will be able to tear this fabric. I don’t think a movie will make any difference to the bond between the two communities.

If anyone insults a prophet or saint or customs of any community, it can only be laughed at. There are a number of such videos insulting every single religion in the world. There are hundreds of movies, even in Tamil Nadu, that show Hinduism in a bad light. But Hinduism has not taken a beating. I would say that the best thing to do is to ignore such things and move forward. Kamal Haasan has said that his intention is not to hurt anybody’s sentiment. We should give him the benefit of doubt and move on. This would be my submission to the leaders of the Muslim community.

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  1. Alvin Saldanha

    My congratulations to you for giving such profitable counsel to your followers. Wish our other “spiritual leaders” learnt a lesson from you and guided their followers properly on the power of not wasting attention and energy on unnecessary things.
    Banning something inflames curiosity. Lazy bystanders who like their curiosities tickled become misguided participants in doomed misadventures.

    Reply
  2. Mohammed Ali

    Hi,
    This issue can be seen multiple angles.What Sri Sri Ravi Shankar says is completely right the other issue is eventhough people say and understand fully that cinema is a fiction it does leave an impact on the viewer.There are so many so many examples on it some professions have been shown always in a bad manner that you are forced to think that people who are in such professions in a bad light.You can ignore when some unknown guy does thinks like that.These people like Kamal Hassan have fortunately/unfortunately have created names for themselves like intellectuals and still happen to play the same stereotype thing. Though it may create a bad image for muslims and even create an adverse effect by actually creating cusriosity what can people do when they see a very false portrayal of their beliefs other than to protest it.

    Reply
  3. Santhosh

    I’m sorry,Please ignore previous message… I typed a wrong id… Now this is correct…
    Sir,
    Everyday i’m very tension because of peoples attitude, always i feel something un-comfortable, how can i improve it in better manner?
    And i like to join on AOL but i dont which course will suite for me…
    But what i expecting is be stressless man, no tension always be relax, at a same time i need to improve my skill because some of things i cant understand properly and if i understood after some days i forgotten…Thats my problem some of the points which came right now… Can you please guide me in right way? i need a tution with you but i don’t know how much is possible… or if it not you tell me who’s best tutor for me to give a good support…
    Thanks a lot…by santhosh.

    Reply
    1. sohini

      Dear Santosh,

      You are at the right place! Sudarshan Kriya is the solution to all your problems. This unique breathing technique eliminates stress, fatigue and negative emotions such as anger, frustration and depression, leaving you calm yet energized, focused yet relaxed & more skillful. To learn how to do Sudarshan Kriya, find an Art of Living centre close to you and enrol for an Art of Living course. Sudarshan Kriya is taught only in the course environment by a trained teacher using an audio cassette that contains instructions by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar to guide you through the process. To find courses/followups in your area call : +91 7676 440044, Monday – Sunday : 8 am – 8 pm IST. Detail of local centers worldwide is also available in http://www.artofliving.org. You must visit the website which will give a holistic idea about The Art of Living Foundation which spreads across more than 152 countries. For any information regarding Art of Living program at the International Centre Headquartered at Bangalore you may contact@ 080-67262627, 080-28432273. Be part of this wonderful movement without any further delay. Take care. God Bless!

      Reply
  4. Santhosh

    Sir,
    Everyday i’m very tension because of peoples attitude, always i feel something un-comfortable, how can i improve it in better manner?
    And i like to join on AOL but i dont which course will suite for me…
    But what i expecting is be stressless man, no tension always be relax, at a same time i need to improve my skill because some of things i cant understand properly and if i understood after some days i forgotten…Thats my problem some of the points which came right now… Can you please guide me in right way? i need a tution with you but i don’t know how much is possible… or if it not you tell me who’s best tutor for me to give a good support…
    Thanks a lot…by santhosh.

    Reply
      1. sohini

        You are at the right place! Sudarshan Kriya is the solution to all your problems. This unique breathing technique eliminates stress, fatigue and negative emotions such as anger, frustration and depression, leaving you calm yet energized, focused yet relaxed & more skillful. To learn how to do Sudarshan Kriya, find an Art of Living centre close to you and enrol for an Art of Living course. Sudarshan Kriya is taught only in the course environment by a trained teacher using an audio cassette that contains instructions by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar to guide you through the process. To find courses/followups in your area call : +91 7676 440044, Monday – Sunday : 8 am – 8 pm IST. Detail of local centers worldwide is also available in http://www.artofliving.org. You must visit the website which will give a holistic idea about The Art of Living Foundation which spreads across more than 152 countries. For any information regarding Art of Living program at the International Centre Headquartered at Bangalore you may contact@ 080-67262627, 080-28432273. Be part of this wonderful movement without any further delay. Take care. God Bless!

        Reply
        1. Santhosh

          Thanks a lot Sohini…Thanks for your reply… I’ll go through as per your valuable comments… Thanks once again…

          Reply
    1. Santhosh

      Thanks a lot Sohini…Thanks for your reply… I’ll go through as per your valuable comments… Thanks once again…

      Reply
  5. jayanthi

    Dear Mr. Sohail, what you are trying to say is true. Baba Ambedkar ridicules the Hindu rituals. Yet the Hindus and our India has in a way laughed away his comments. India even today celebrates Dr. Ambedkar Jayanthi, he was awarded the Bharat Rathna! He was the chairman of our first constitution! doesn’t that say anything? He brought great awareness among Indians about the conditions of people. He was a great man in his own respect.

    Nevertheless, we are all fist humans, religion and our beliefs are like our clothing to identify each other. But inside you are my brother, who like myself wants freedom, love,attention and happiness for ourselves and our near and dear ones. I pray to Allah, Jesus and to Krishna. I feel peace is the only God we need to aspire for. By Allah’s grace may you find Peace where you are.

    Reply
  6. Jawahar

    Guruji,
    Thanks a lot!. Half of kerala’s population is Muslim but the film is a hit there! Banning of the film in TN has set a bad example, so that other states and few foreign countries seems to have stopped the movie for sometime! Vishwaroopam is running successfully in countries like US, UK, etc.,

    Reply
    1. sohail

      mr jawahar please go through the book riddles of hinduism by dr.babasaheb ambedkar and show us how you laugh on that and even explain why lot of hindus protested on that and got it banned.

      Reply
    2. sohail

      mr jawahar as you thank ur guruji for this so called blog ih which he states if anybody makes fun of prohets or religion it should be laughed off then show us the courage to laugh at the writings of dr babasaheb ambedkar for his book riddles of Hinduism in which all truth of alleged hindu gods and goddessess is exposed logically and with contradictions quoted from hindu scriptures

      Reply
      1. arun

        Dear Sohail
        You belongs to me. To laugh over the such criticism is to avoid generating negative emotion like hatred, anger etc. within ourself. All these negative emotion will keep us at a distance from our beloved god and doing good for our society. Rather we should come forward with more enthusiasm with more good things from our religion. Religion lives in the human’s hearts. We have to spread the messages of our religion which will bring peace and love on this beautiful earth.

        Reply
  7. Jawahar

    Guruji,
    Thanks a lot! The ban on a movie should not make one a “Paranoid!” The ban has set a bad example to other states and some countries like Srilanka. Half of Kerala’s population is Muslim but the film”Vishwaroopam” is a hit there! Movie is a movie !

    Reply
  8. Pingback: A ban doesn’t always work | Vignesh ganesh

  9. Balamurugan Krishnan

    There be- Only One Truth,
    Not more Than One !
    Truth at times- Is Hidden,
    Under the Darkness Of Night.
    Triumphs- The Truth Always At last,
    Alike Sunrise of Day- With A New Hope !
    Let That Truth Reveal,
    To All Your Hopefuls.
    Jai Guru Dev !

    Reply
  10. phani

    In-fact I stopped watching kamalhasan’s movies after I saw ‘Dashavataram’. He picturized the movie in such a ugly manner, where he didn’t respect the sensitivities / sentiments of any community ( he was trying to pose as a staunch vaishnavite on one end, but made the idol of lord vishnu to travel thro’ the lavatory of Trains, and lord vishnu’s idol being burried in burial ground etc…

    If at all he wanted to convey the cause & effect funda, in otherwords all that goes around, comes around etc… i’m sure there was much better creative ways it could have been conveyed…. without taking a subjectline of creating a rift between Shaivites & Vaishnavites….

    Kamal lacks creativity…. and that is why he has always borrowed idea of playing dual roles / multiple roles and failed miserably in the last decade… but still he hasn’t learnt his lessons….

    It’s high time he dropped his hat !

    Reply
  11. Meenakshii

    Dear Guruji, Thank You for writing, and thank You for guiding the humanity towards a terror free society and a better world. I wish your voice reaches every nook and corner of the country.

    Reply
  12. fenil gheewala

    guruji u r spiritual leader nd my guru aap se mila to sara jahan pa liya bas aap hamesa hamare sath rahna jai guru dev

    Reply
  13. Atul

    I totally agree with what Guruji is saying, the ban has brought so much publicity. Even I have become curious to find out what is there in this movie that has caused so many debates and a ban!!

    Reply
  14. harilal

    As Gurujis view, it is to set the trend for marketing the 95crore movie. create curiosity to watch the movie. but this negative publicity is creating communal disturbance which the creature not seeing. Unfortunately the govt and judicairy too keen to attend such kind of foolishness. They should reject such things before budding.

    Reply
  15. Meghana Wagh

    Very true Guruji! Totally agree with you! When the constitution has given us the right to express ourselves, there should not be bans of such type. Even when Andhi film was banned by Indira Gandhi in late 1970’s, my mother who was a medical student at that time, had purchased a black ticket and watched the movie in theatre with my grandmother…Hahahaha!

    Reply
  16. Darshak Hathi

    Our constitution is giving freedom of expression to every individual. I agree with Sri Sri Ravishankarji’s opinion.

    Reply
  17. Mahesh

    Yes … Best solution.

    What am feeling is, the censor board should be more clear and more strong…Once the board give a certificate the movie has all rights to screen without Ban or any non-sense.

    If anything is there tooo much censor board should cut the scenes , and issue the certificate. Simple… My solution for Future Movies.

    Reply
  18. Shailendra Rajpurohit

    So kind of Guruji, You solve all situations So simple & wonderful way. Protesting and banning makes it more popular. People tend to go for forbidden fruits !

    Reply

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