After the Cinema Owners Exhibitors Association of India decided not to release Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, featuring Pakistani actor Fawad Khan, many from the film industry came out in support of Karan Johar, the maker of the film. But nobody went as far as Anurag Kashyap, who dragged Prime Minister Narendra Modi into the controversy surrounding Pakistani artistes by seeking an apology for his Pakistan trip last year.
Kashyap asserted that the burden of Modi’s Pakistan trip fell on the taxpayers, while the film shot around the same time was needed money on which someone pays interest. In a series of tweets, the director questioned Modi’s silence over the whole controversy and attacked the government by saying “The World must learn from us..We solve all our problems by blaming it on movies and banning it..#ADHM. With you on this @karanjohar.”
Kashyap’s tweet didn’t go down well with many as he was trolled for dragging Modi into the issue. But this doesn’t make much sense. The COEAI has categorically said that it is stalling the release of Ae Dil Hai Mushkil “keeping in mind the patriotic feeling and the national interest in mind.” The COEAI said the decision was based on “public sentiments” following the Uri and Pathankot attacks on Army base.
The COEAI is neither a government-run body nor an association of all exhibitors in the country. It’s an association of single screen cinema owners from Nashik, Pune and some parts of Mumbai. It has only requested its members not to play the film and some might end up showing the movie. The multiplexes have also not stalled the release of Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and hence there is no direct threat to the movie. In fact,CBFC chief Pahlaj Nihlani has also criticised COEAI for its decision.
Moreover, the film industry itself is divided over the issue of Pakistani actors working in Indian films. From Nana Patekar to Akshay Kumar and Ajay Devgn all have expressed solidarity with the soldiers who died fighting terrorists in Uri and said country comes first for them. Choreographer and filmmaker Farah Khan has also asserted that there is no dearth of talent in India and when it comes to movie making she will choose to work with Indian actors than their Pakistani counterparts. Supporting the government’s stand on isolation of Pakistan, actor Randeep Hooda tweeted “We are trying to isolate Pakistan economically & diplomatically so the cultural isolation must follow.”
When there is a difference of opinion over the issue, Kashyap does not seem right in taking on Modi in this matter. Following the backlash he’s said that he’d rather ask questions directly to the prime minister. Well, he should have done that earlier instead of asking for an apology right away. The filmmaker also asked the media not to contact him as it will be a waste of time. Now, this is the same Kashyap who once tweeted his bruised eye picture as part of a bet to check what would make news. According to him, media reports without cross checking, but now he himself seems to be preventing any form of cross-checking.