ADHM controversy: Army rejects 'penance' fund; asks not to politicise armed forces
Bengaluru, Oct 23 The leaders of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena or MNS might have succeeded in bullying the Bollywood by stopping the industry people from working with Pakistani actors and technicians in the wake of the controversy surrounding the film, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil (ADHM).
However, the leader of MNS, Raj Thackeray, should have known that it is not easy to set terms for the Indian army.
Senior army officials and veterans were upset over the armed force being dragged into politics over films after the MNS demanded that producers of movies employing Pakistani actors pay Rs. 5 core to an army welfare fund.
In fact, Karan Johar's romantic triangle, ADHM, faced stiff resistance from the MNS as the film stars Pakistani heart-throb, Fawad Khan. The party threatened that the theatres showing the films will be vandalised.
However, after the chief minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis intervened and conducted a meeting between the film producers and Thackeray, the MNS agreed to let the film release on its scheduled date.
The film has been "allowed" to be released after its producers met with three conditions put forward by the MNS, including payment of Rs. 5 crore to army welfare fund.
Slamming Thackeray's latest diktat, senior army officials and veterans rejected the "penance" fund mooted by the MNS chief.
Most of the army veterans criticised Thackeray with strong words and asked the MNS leader not to politicise the armed forces.
This is what Air Vice Marshal Manmohan Bahadur (Retd) tweeted:
Army never doubts the love n sentiment of countrymen behind contributions to its welfare fund. From now on...? #RajThackeray 's extortion.— Manmohan Bahadur (@BahadurManmohan) October 22, 2016
He further tweeted:
Indian Armed Forces cannot, and SHUD NOT, become crutches 4pol ambitions. Unfortunately, this is the trend seen in recent past. Stay away pl https://t.co/BBkujRETja— Manmohan Bahadur (@BahadurManmohan) October 22, 2016
Retired senior officer, Lt Gen Syed Ata Hasnain (Retd), also expressed his disappointment about the latest development:
Would never support it. https://t.co/acV3JrQPZS— Syed Ata Hasnain (@atahasnain53) October 22, 2016