Raj Thackeray not to disrupt screening of My Name is Khan

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Mumbai, Feb.11 (ANI): Giving a new twist to the ongoing controversy over screening of Bollywood movie 'My Name Is Khan', Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray on Thursday said that his outfit would not disrupt the screening of the film.

Raj Thackeray, the estranged nephew of Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray, slammed the latter's party for targeting Shah Rukh Khan but not saying anything to Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan, who shared the dais with Pakistan artistes a few days ago.

"I am not very close to Shah Rukh nor am I close to Amitabh Bachchan. But still I cannot figure out why the Shah Rukh versus Sena (Shiv Sena) issue has been blown out of proportion. However, I just need to bring such contradictions to your notice that I am not going to stage any protests on this issue," said Raj Thackeray.

Thackeray also criticized Khan saying that though he was vocal about his support to Pakistan players, he had none playing in his Indian Premier League (IPL) team, the Kolkata Knight Riders'.

Thackeray further questioned that why there weren't any complaints against Amitabh Bachchan, who shared the stage dais with Pakistan artistes.

"Amitabh refused an Australian award due to Indian students being attacked in Australia, then how can he share the stage with the Pakistan artiste, who hails from the land of the militants who attacked Mumbai on 26/11?" Raj Thackeray demanded.

'My Name is Khan' has already been targeted by Shiv Sena, which triggered a debate that resonated across the country last week, after it criticized the film's star, Shah Rukh Khan, for saying that Pakistani players ought to have been included in India's cricket league.

Shiv Sena activists have been targeting theatres and warning theatre-operators to not screen 'My Name is Khan', which releases on Friday (February 12).

Activists have already vandalized many cinemas in Mumbai, even though there were showing other films at the time. They staged demonstrations, burnt effigies of Khan, and tore down posters of the film and burnt them all across India's western state of Maharashtra.

Khan, who was on a promotional tour in New York and London, has said that he stands by his statement.

Fox Star Studios bought the distribution rights for 'My Name Is Khan', in what is said to be the biggest distribution deal in Bollywood. Trade analysts say there are at least 1.2 billion rupees (nearly $25.9 million) riding on the film and if the Mumbai-Maharashtra circuit is affected, it would affect almost 25 percent of the film's cinema revenues.

In the film, Shah Rukh Khan plays a man with Asperger's Syndrome who is a victim of the anti-Muslim bias in the US in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. (ANI)

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