The suspension against actor Vishal was revoked by the Tamil Film Producers Council (TFPC), a month after he expressed regret over criticising the functioning of the office bearers.
The decision comes a day after the Madras High Court gave the Producers’ Council a day to revoke the suspension. The first bench of the High Court had also hit out body for suspending Vishal for voicing his dissent, observing, “What is wrong in making statements against an association. Is it not freedom of expression?”
A statement issued by TFPC on Friday reads, “We had a meeting on February 2 at 6pm. The meeting was regarding the apology that Vishal gave in the High Court. We have decided to accept his apology and revoke the suspension as he has apologised.”
The Producers’ Council had earlier promised the court that it would revoke his suspension if the actor issued an apology. Following this, on January 4, Vishal filed an affidavit in court, saying, “I state that I convey my regrets to all concerned, if any of my statements in the above referred interview may have hurt anyone, because that was not my intention, and I undertake to abide by the rules and regulations governing the 2nd Defendant Association, as always.”
The tussle between the actor and TFPC began in August last year, when Vishal, who is also the General Secretary of the Nadigar Sangam, gave an interview to Ananda Vikatan magazine that was allegedly “against the interests” of the Council. In an interview with the magazine, when asked about TFPC and its members, Vishal had said that the Council had not taken measures against piracy or tackled the problem of satellite rights. He added that the Council needed "unselfish" members who would solve issues with an open mind.
On November 14, TFPC suspended Vishal from primary membership for three months stating that his explanation on the issue was found to be unsatisfactory.
Following the TFPC’s decision, Vishal moved the Madras High Court last year seeking an interim injunction restraining the Council’s president Kalaipuli S Thanu from enforcing the suspension. He has argued that his views were made with the intention of bringing to light the problems faced by the film industry. Vishal also pointed out that those occupying public office should be tolerant towards criticism and take it in the right spirit.
Meanwhile, the Nadigar Sangam Secretary has also put together a team to contest in the TFPC elections, scheduled for February 5. Actor Khushbu Sundar was announced as the candidate for the post of President by Vishal.
The team Vishal is putting together to take on the present office bearers is similar to what had happened at the Nadigar Sangam, when Nasser and co had taken on Sarath Kumar’s team.