Indian State Government Temporarily Blocks Release of Spy Thriller, Citing Fear of Riots by Muslims

Agence France-Presse reports:

The southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu on Thursday defended its ban on a new film …. Spy thriller “Vishwaroopam” was forced out of cinemas after Muslim groups complained that they were portrayed in a negative light ….

Tamil Nadu’s Chief Minister Jayalalithaa Jayaram said her government was forced to impose the 15-day ban to prevent unrest across the state, because there was “every apprehension” that protests outside cinemas would turn violent….

She said the state did not have enough police to maintain law and order outside more than 500 cinemas that were due to show the movie.

[The director of the film], travelling to Mumbai on Friday for the film’s release there, has reportedly agreed to modify his movie to appease the protesting groups…. [The film] has already passed the country’s censorship board….

Acclaimed British author Salman Rushdie also faced the wrath of Muslim groups on Wednesday, forcing him to cancel a trip to the eastern city of Kolkata for a promotional event for the film “Midnight’s Children”.

Rushdie, whose novel “The Satanic Verses” is seen as blasphemous by some Muslims, was also forced out of India’s biggest literature festival last year after apparent threats to his life.