We keep hearing that the police cannot provide protection to the common man and woman because there are not enough people in the police force. People are killed and women are raped very frequently and there are no safe roads.
Perhaps there are not enough resources in the police force but if that is the case why waste it?
I am referring to the news item in The Hindu today titled “Vishwaroopam released in Karnataka amid police security”. The article talks about the film being released in 40 theatres across the state and 17 in Bengaluru.
My first question is Why and who is paying for that?
Let us do a simple math. In order to protect the theatre and the film goers from some untoward incidents, we need a minimum of 10 policemen. For 40 theatres, the number at the field level is 400 assuming there are no shifts. what about the planning, logistics and control?
If Kamal fears some untoward incidents then he should either mobilize his own security force or pay for the police force being deployed. The general public cannot be penalized so that the film maker can have his freedom of expression. And I am saying penalized because whatever police force is being deployed at the 40 theatres are not recruited for this purpose and have to be necessarily pulled out of some other duty. That means that somebody is going to suffer for want of protection.
My second question is ‘For how long?’
Can this be indefinite or atleast until the film runs out of the theatre? If not, who is responsible for any untoward incident when the security is pulled off after a week or a month?
I recall the kind of security that was given to Rushdie by the British Government to protect him from a fatwa. If Rushdie wants to stand by his words, sorry verses, then he should not have taken the cover but instead faced the consequences. Ironically, he is considered a hero for standing upto the might of the establishment!!
If Kamal feels that he has said nothing derogatory about Muslims in his movie, then he should appeal to their sense of fairness and hope that they will see the truth. Let people vote with their wallets and make it to a box office hit or a bust. Vishwaroopam is a commercial venture and hence enjoys the risk of being one.
I am not saying that Kamal asked for the police security for the theatres but even if he did, it is not justified.