Mumbai: Escalating its opposition to Pakistani actors, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) today threatened to “beat up” film makers Karan Johar and Mahesh Bhatt if they work with or release films featuring artistes from the neighbouring country.
The threat was given by the film wing of Raj Thackeray- led MNS which had recently set a 48-hour deadline for all Pakistani artistes working in India to leave the country.
“We had appealed to film industry not to work with Pakistani artistes in the wake of the Uri attack. However, Bhatt and Johar have not given a positive response to our appeal,” head of MNS Chitrapat Sena, Amey Khopkar said.
“If they work with any Pakistani artiste, they should be prepared for a befitting response from us,” Khopkar told PTI.
Khopkar also said that their workers would oppose the release of “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil” and “Raees” since they feature Pakistani actors.
“We have not received any written assurance from either Shah Rukh Khan or Karan Johar (assuring that Pakistani actors won’t be taken in their movies). Our agitation over banning Pakistani actors will go on. We will oppose their films. If these two films (“Ae Dil Hai Mushkil” and “Raees”) release, we will stall the release. Our workers are ready to go to jail. We will stall the films in our ‘style’,” he told a TV channel.
“If Karan Johar and Mahesh Bhatt even dare to make a film with Pakistani actors in the future, we will beat them up on the streets. We will also thrash Pakistani artistes.”
Bhatt took to Twitter to give his response to the MNS threat.
When a journalist pointed it out to him that MNS has threatened to beat him up, Bhatt tweeted, “How beautiful and dignified it is to remain silent when someone expects u to be enraged?”
The MNS leader stressed that the nation and jawans come first, and art next, adding that if somebody is taking his words as ‘dadagiri’, so be it. He said, “If they think it is goondagiri or dadagiri, yes it is dadagiri.”
“We gave a 48-hour deadline to Pakistani actors and artists to leave India or MNS will push them out,” Khopkar said recalling the MNS threat.
He had even threatened to beat up Pakistani artistes and those who cast them in their productions.
The MNS warnings came amid heightened tension between India and Pakistan following the terror attack on an Army camp in Uri in Kashmir in which 18 Army personnel were killed.
This is not the first time Pakistan-based artists have been threatened by Mumbai’s political parties. Shiv Sena had told ghazal singer Ghulam Ali to cancel his performance in Mumbai. It had also opposed hosting a cricket match in the city between India and Pakistan during the T20 World Cup.
The Shiv Sena had also said it will obstruct promotions of Pakistani actors Fawad Khan’s ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ and Mahira Khan’s ‘Raees’.