After the decks were cleared for the smooth release of Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena’s cine wing said they won’t oppose the release of other two films Raees and Dear Zindagi which star Pakistani actors. Director Karan Johar accompanied by Producers’ Guild President Mukesh Bhatt met Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and assured him that filmmakers would not work with Pakistani artistes given the people’s sentiments in India post Uri attacks.
Fadnavis met Johar and Bhatt at his residence ‘Varsha’ along with MNS chief Raj Thackeray, whose party had been opposing the release of the upcoming movie as Pakistani actor Fawad Khan features in the film.
While Fawad has a special appearance in the romantic- drama, Pakistani actress Mahira Khan will be making her Bollywood debut opposite Shah Rukh Khan in Raees and in Dear Zindagi Ali Zafar is one of the actors paired opposite Alia Bhatt.
When asked if Raees will be met with the same opposition as that of “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil”, working president of Maharashtra Navnirman Chitrapat Karmachari Sena, Shalini Thackeray said at a panel discussion about Pakistani artistes working in Bollywood at Aaj Tak’s special event ‘Manthan’.
“They always said that these films were shot before the (Uri) attack happened. So, in the meeting, it became clear that apart from the three films which have been completed– ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’, ‘Raees’ and ‘Dear Zindagi’ — no other films with Pakistani artistes will be released. No films with Pakistani actors will be shot. This was decided by the CM, MNS, and producers guild together.”
Actors like Ashutosh Rana, Dalip Tahil and adman Prahlad Kakkar were present at the event. Rana said he was happy that the issue of Ae Dil Hai Mushkil was resolved, but asked why only put an end to actors working in Bollywod and continue business relations with Pakistan.
“Why only cinema? I believe it should not be limited to arts. If it is about money, then what about cement electricity? Let us say ‘we don’t want to keep any relations with you. It should be decided by the government. To impose a ban on arts, culture is somewhere a half-hearted attempt,” he said.
Tahil opined that under the current circumstances, film industry should understand and respect the sentiments of people“Considering the situation, there should be a total boycott of Pakistan. In trade, culture, every way. What happened was, after the Uri and Mumbai attack, people are enraged. But as a film industry we should realise the sentiments of the public and respect that.Cultural exchange happens with two hands. Our artistes and singers have been humiliated there,” Dalip Tahil added.