Decks were cleared for the smooth release of ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ on Saturday after a meeting of film producer Karan Johar with Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and MNS chief Raj Thackeray in Mumbai.
Film ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’, that features Pakistani actor Fawad Khan, ran into trouble after Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) said it won’t allow release of any movie in India that featured Pakistani artistes. It is due for release on October 28, ahead of Diwali.
Film & Television Producers Guild of India president Mukesh Bhatt, producers Sidharth Roy Kapur, Sajid Nadiadwala and Vijay Singh of Fox Star Studios were also present in the meeting.
“Every producer who has cast a Pakistani actor must contribute Rs 5 crore to the Army welfare fund,” MNS chief Raj Thackeray said after the meeting.
The MNS chief also raised a question over casting Pakistani actors in Indian films. “While Pakistan has banned Indian content, why do we give them a red carpet here,” Raj Thackeray asked.
Thackeray said that “producers will have to give in writing that they will not take Pakistani actors in their films in future.”
Claiming victory for MNS agitation, Raj Thackeray said: “We have always protested against Pakistani artistes but Bollywood never understood earlier. Now they have realised.”
Earlier, speaking to reporters after the meeting, Mukesh 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 artists. 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.”