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While the MNS on Saturday claimed “victory” for itself following the compromise worked out with the producers of Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, the Hindi film industry does not seem to have taken too kindly to the move.
Stating that he doesn’t know the details, filmmaker Shyam Benegal said, “Karan Johar contributing to the Army welfare fund is an excellent move. It is for a good cause, but such steps should be taken out of own volition, and not by arm-twisting.”
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Actor Swara Bhaskar said that the mediation worked out by Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis points to the vulnerability of the film industry. “So anyone can now demand money on behalf of the Indian Army?” she asked. Actor Soni Razdan tweeted, “So it’s come to this. Film producers are paying hafta to MNS cause (because) a Pakistani actor who has nothing to do with terrorists is in their film?”
Talking about the ban on Pakistani artists, actor Ajay Devgn, whose film Shivaay is set to release on the same day as the Karan Johar film, said it is not “regressive” to say that your country comes first. Although he said Pakistani artists should not be banned, Devgn, speaking at an event by TV channel Aaj Tak in Mumbai, said there is a need to stand by the country at present.
On Friday, veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah had said, “I am no fan of Karan Johar but I will definitely watch Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, because I feel a creative person who wants to get work done should be supported…I think that Karan should not have apologised and that there was no need for him to plead helplessly.”