Despite the brewing controversy over Karan Johar’s upcoming film Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, which is facing resistance in several parts of the country because it features a Pakistani actor, distributors in West Bengal say they are not anticipating any trouble as their’s is a “peace-loving” state. The film is scheduled to release on October 28.
Less than a week ago, state Viswa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leaders had said that they would protest against the release of the film, seeking cooperation from BJP and RSS.
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“VHP and RSS are non-existent here in West Bengal. The film will be released normally here and we don’t think there would be any disturbances given their organisational strength here,” said Sunit Singh, chairman, exhibitors’ section, Eastern India Motion Pictures’ Association (EIMPA).
Singh’s views were echoed by Saroj Mukherjee, chairman of the distributors’ section of EIMPA.
“The primary distributor of the film is Venkatesh Films and so far, the response we got from them and other distributors is that the movie would be released both at multiplexes and singleplexes without anticipation of any trouble. We have read media reports where some organisations have expressed that they would put up resistance against the release of not only Ae dil… but also against the Aamir Khan-starrer Dangal,
which would be released in December. We believe the people of Bengal are peace-loving and there would be no effect at all on any of the films,” Mukherjee said.
He added that both Ae dil… and Ajay Devgn’s Shivaay would be released on the same date and were expected to do good business on Diwali.
Theatre-owners in Bengal — unlike their counterparts in a few other states where resistance has been much more intense in light of the recent attack by Pakistani terrorists on the Indian Army in Uri — have refused to ask for any police help before the release.
“There will not be any group on the streets. This is not Maharashtra. Activists over here know that they are heavily outnumbered and would only be visible on social networking sites with their brainless logic that the film should be banned because it has a Pakistani actor,” said the owner of a standalone theatre in central Kolkata.