Mumbai [Maharashtra] [India]: After film-maker Karan Johar gave in to the pressure of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) and said he will not work with Pakistani talent in future, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday said that it would have been better had the director expressed solidarity with India’s armed forces post Uri and Pathankot attacks.
BJP spokesperson Shaina NC told ANI that the Centre has decided to give protection to every theatre that is going to showcase Johar’s film.
“Clearly, there is a sentiment in public at large, which is anti-Pakistan at the given juncture as we all know post Uri and Pathankot. I wish the directors like Karan Johar would have come out with a statement in solidarity with our armed forces after the attacks rather than let a controversy break loose,” said NC.
“However, we do believe that the rule of law must prevail and because it cannot implement retrospective, our government has decided to give protection to every theatre that is going to showcase that film,” she added.
NC further said that the question is who has actually boycotted this particular film, as the government has no role to play.
Earlier on Tuesday, Johar broke his silence on the row over his upcoming film ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’, in an emotional video statement expressing a “deep sense of hurt and pain” by the charge of being anti-national.
“I condemn terror in the strongest terms, I respect our Army, for me, the country comes first,” the 44-year-old said.
Johar, who made his directorial debut with the blockbuster romance Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, further said: “The best way to express your patriotism is to spread love and thats all I have ever tried to do through my work and cinema.”
Yesterday, prominent industry veterans including filmmaker Mukesh Bhatt met Mumbai Police Commissioner Dattatray Padsalgikar and Joint Police Commissioner (Law and Order) Deven Bharti, who assured them that they would provide protection to theatres screening Dharma Productions next release.
The meeting took place in the wake of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) veiled threat of vandalizing multiplexes if they screen ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’.
CEO of Fox Star Studios Vijay Singh, CEO of Dharma Productions Apoorva Mehta and Siddharth Roy Kapur, the CEO of Disney India and the UTV Motion Pictures were among those present in the meeting.
Shunning long-time speculations about whether the movie will release on its defined date or not, Bhatt confirmed that they would stick to the initial date of release, adding the movie will hit cinemas worldwide on October 28.
Reaching out to the MNS workers, Bhatt urged them to show sensitivity about the fact that the movie has already been made and allow Diwali to be a festive affair for everyone.
“I have a request as a fellow Indian to my brothers in the MNS, I am humbly requesting you to let us entertain people on the occasion of Diwali,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mumbai Police spokesperson Ashok Dudhe said that all multiplexes and single screen theatres would get protection to release the movie so that no disruption is caused in middle of the shows or in the city as a whole.
The movie starring Ranbir Kapoor, Anushka Sharma and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan has been under fire because it also features Pakistani actor Fawad Khan in a cameo.
The MNS after imposing the ban on artistes from the neighbouring country, in response to the terror attack in Uri led by Pakistan, had on Monday openly threatened the theatre owners if they screen the movie. (ANI)