'Ae Dil Hai Mushkil' gets MNS nod, to release on time, but with conditions
Mumbai, Oct 22: Decks were cleared on Saturday for the smooth release of 'Ae Dil Hai Mushkil' after director Karan Johar accompanied by Producers' Guild President Mukesh Bhatt met Maharashtra CM 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' here this morning 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.
Producers Sidharth Roy Kapur, Sajid Nadiadwala and Vijay Singh of Fox Star Studios were also present in the meeting.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Bhatt said that it was "positive and constructive and 'Ae Dil Hai Mushkil' will release as per the schedule."
"We discussed the unfortunate events related to the film's release. I shared the film industry's emotions regarding the entire issue. We are Indians first and then comes our business," he said.
Bhatt also said that they have assured the CM that neither the Producers' Guild nor any filmmaker will work with any Pakistani artiste or technician in the future.
Also, the (Producers') Guild will call a meeting to pass a resolution on not working with Pakistani artistes. A copy of the same would be sent to the Information and Broadcasting Ministry as well as the Chief Minister, he said.
Besides, Johar has decided to put a special mention in the beginning of the film paying homage to martyrs.
"Karan Johar will display a slate of tribute for Uri martyrs before 'Ae Dil Hai Mushkil' starts playing out in the screens. It is a tribute from us to our soldiers," Bhatt said.
The makers of the film starring Ranbir Kapoor, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Anushka Sharma in lead roles, will also contribute a portion of its revenue to the army welfare fund, he said, adding "We owe this to the Army."
"Producers who sign Pak artistes will have to pay RS. 5 crore as penance for army welfare," said MNS chief Raj Thackeray.
Johar's 'Ae Dil Hai Mushkil' had been embroiled in controversy over the past few weeks after the MNS opposed the screening of movies featuring Pakistani actors after the Uri terror attack, putting a question mark on the fate of movie, slated for Diwali release on October 28.
Workers from MNS' film unit Maharashtra Navnirman Chitrapat Karmachari Sena had been protesting and raised slogans outside Metro Cinema in South Mumbai this week, threatening to vandalise cinema houses and stalling the film's screening.
"After these protests, the law and order situation seemed to be not in control and hence we approached the Home Minister and Maharashtra Chief Minister," Bhatt said.
"We requested him to give us assurance along with the CM of the state that law and order will be intact and our movie 'ADHM' which is releasing on October 28 would not face any difficulty," he said.
Earlier this week, seeking to calm tempers over opposition to the release of his directorial venture, Johar had made a fervent appeal against stalling the release, saying he will not engage with talent from Pakistan in future.
However, MNS chose to dismiss it and said that reality had dawned late on Johar and continued with their agitation leading to the arrest of 12 party activists, who have been sent in judicial custody till November 4.
Speaking to reporters, Thackeray said, "I am told that all the three demands of MNS have been accepted by the producers. Before the beginning of the movie, a tribute should be offered at every screening to the jawans who were martyred in various terror strikes including recent Uri and Pathankot attacks," he said.
Further elaborating, Thackeray added, "The producers should also put a blanket ban on Pakistani artistes, singers and technicians henceforth. Every producer, who has so far cast Pakistani actors, should give Rs 5 crore to the Army welfare fund as an atonement. The producers should handover the cheque to the Defence Minister and make the photo public."
Earlier too, Johar had assured that a portion of the earning from ADHM would go for the welfare of the family members of the jawans killed in the Uri attack.
Thackeray also sought to know why our film industry is entertaining Pakistani artistes in an atmosphere of conflict.
"The Pakistan government flatly bans broadcasting of Indian news and entertainment channels without any valid reasons. In such a situation, I do not find (a reason) why we should entertain their artistes here," Thackeray said
Before today's meeting Johar had called on Fadnavis on Thursday after which the CM had said, "The state government would like to reaffirm that the government will not allow anyone to disturb law and order and stern action will be taken. Democratic protest is fine but unlawful activity will not be tolerated."