Coming out in support of Karan Johar, veteran director Shyam Benegal on Wednesday said it is sad that the "Ae Dil Hai Mushkil" filmmaker had to reiterate his patriotism.
Johar made a video appeal yesterday to those protesting the release of his directorial venture because it has Pakistani actor Fawad Khan. Raj Thackeray-led MNS has threatened to stall the movie's release on October 28.
Benegal, 81, also questioned the constant demand made on people to prove their patriotism. "I feel very sad that he had to make a statement like that because how can anybody doubt his patriotism or his love for this country. Does it need to be reiterated everyday of his life or my life, because there is a demand on people to prove his patriotism? Why should one do that?
"When you are born here, when you live here or make a livelihood here, you are going to live all your life in your country and you are not planning to leave or go anywhere else. You are an important and successful member of the society. Why should a person like him have to constantly say that he will not do this? Why have we come to this situation?," Benegal said.
In the video, Johar had said that he was hurt to be called an anti-national because "country comes first" for him. Meanwhile, veteran scriptwriter Salim Khan tweeted that film industry is not divided and is the only place where talent is valued.
"What works is talent & capability. This is true from the time of Dada Saheb Phalke till date. It is true that there are some amongst us who have aligned themselves to political parties for personal gain.
"And yes we are a happy lot. If our films work we are happy and if a rivals film flops we are happy too. And we live happily ever after," he tweeted.