Amid raging controversy over the release of film ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’, which features Pakistani actors, the film’s director Karan Johar on Tuesday said that for him his country comes first and that nothing else matters to him but his country. Earlier on Tuesday, amid veiled threat by MNS of vandalism at multiplexes if they screen Karan Johar’s ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ for featuring a Pakistani actor, the film’s producers met Mumbai’s top police officials seeking protection for the theatres to screen it.
Here is what all Karan Johar said:
There is been some talk about why I have remained silent for the past two weeks. Today I will clarify that the reason why I have remained silent is because of they deep sense of hurt and a deep sense of pain I felt that a few people would actually believe that I am anti- national and I need to say this and I say it with strength. For me my country comes first and nothing else matters to me but my country. I have always felt that the best way to express your patriotism is by spreading love and that is all I have ever tried to do through my work and through my cinema.
When I shot my film Ae Dil Hai Mushkil in September to December last year the climate was completely different. The circumstances were completely different. There were efforts made by our government for peaceful relationship with our neighbouring country and I respected those endeavours and efforts then and I respect the sentiments today.
I understand the sentiment because I feel the same. Going forward I would like to say that of course I will not engage with talent from the neighbouring country given the circumstance. But with that same energy I beseech you to know one thing. That over 300 Indian people in my crew have put their blood, sweat and tears into my film ADHM and I don’t think it is fair to them to face any kind of turbulence out of other fellow Indians. I respect the Indian army and salute our army for everything they do to protect us and our environment.
I respect them with all my heart and I say any form of terrorism any form specially the terrorism that would affect my people, my country and me. I just hope all of you understand the circumstance and situation we are in and respect the fact that we love and respect our country over and above anything else.
On Tuesday, a team from Johar’s Dharma Productions along with filmmaker Mukesh Bhatt met Mumbai Police Commissioner Dattaray Padsalgikar and Joint Police Commissioner (law and order) Deven Bharti, and sought protection for the theatres to screen to soon-to-be-released film.
Mukesh is the president of Film and Television Producers Guild of India.
“Mumbai police will provide adequate protection to cinema theatres as and when required,” Deputy Commissioner of Police Ashok Dudhe said.
The Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena had on Monday said it would intensify its opposition to Karan Johar’s film as it features Pakistani actor Fawad Khan. They issued a veiled threat of vandalism to the multiplexes if they screened it.
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The opposition by MNS and some other political parties to films with actors from Pakistan in the aftermath of Uri terror attack has put a question mark on the fate of Johar’s film.
“We will oppose the screening of the movie everywhere in the state. If any multiplex operator dares to screen the film, they (operators) should remember that multiplexes are decorated with expensive glass sheets,” MNS leader Amey Khopkar had said on Monday. (Also Read in Hindi)