Mumbai: Actor Ajay Devgn is the latest Bollywood celebrity to come out in support of ban on Pakistani artistes working in India, saying he is not going to “share screen space” with them as of now.
Devgn, 47, whose film “Shivaay” is pitted against Karan Johar’s “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil” at the box office later this month, said he is not worried about its release in Pakistan.
This is the time to stand by the nation, he said.
Fawad Khan has a special role in “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’.
When asked if he will share screen or any artistic space with any Pakistani artiste, Devgn said, “Not at the moment. I am very clear on this because you are an Indian first. I don’t care if my film doesn’t release in Pakistan. Their artistes are standing by their nation. They are earning here but are sticking by their nation. We should learn from them.”
Maharashtra Navnirman Sena had given an ultimatum to Pakistani actors to leave India and also asked for a ban on them working in Bollywood in the wake of the Uri terror attack on September 18.
They have also threatened to stall the release of “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil” and Shah Rukh Khan’s “Raees”, starring Mahira Khan.
The Indian Motion Picture Producers Association (IMPPA) has also passed a motion to ban artistes from across the border till Indo-Pak relations are normalised.
In an interview, Ajay told CNN-News 18, while he understands one should not compare artistes with terrorists, when the ties between India and Pakistan are strained, it is “not possible to talk about exchange of art and culture”.
“There is an exchange of bullets happening and you are talking about exchange of culture? We cannot isolate ourselves from the nation.”
Salman Khan and Karan Johar had said banning Pakistani artistes from working in Bollywood was not a solution but there are many in the industry who have supported such a move in the wake of rising tension between the two countries.
When asked about his take on Salman’s and Karan’s comments on the matter, Ajay said, “It’s saddening. You need to take a stand.”
Minutes after the interview, Ajay’s actress-wife Kajol heaped praise on him by tweeting, “So proud of my husband for taking a non-political and correct stand.”
Salman had said there’s a difference between artistes and terrorists and Pakistani artistes come to India on visa so, they should not be banned, while Karan said banning is no solution to terrorism.