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Under pressure over opposition to the upcoming release of his film Ae Dil Hai Mushkil that features Pakistani actor Fawad Khan, director Karan Johar finally made an official statement today. He said that for him his country comes first and that he will not “engage with talent” from Pakistan in future; he made a fervent appeal against stalling the blockbuster.
This follows the opposition from Raj Thackeray-led MNS and some other political parties against the release of films with actors from Pakistan after the Uri terror attack, putting a question mark on the fate of Johar’s movie, which is slated for a pre-Diwali release on October 28.
The Cinema Owners Exhibitors Association of India too decided not to screen films with Pakistani actors in four states – Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka and Goa. In a video statement, Johar said that he understood the sentiment of the people, but stopping the release of the film will impact the lives of 300 other Indians who have worked on the film, and stalling its release will not be fair to them.
As soon as the statement came out, social media sites were buzzing with reactions. While most seem to think the statement and the realisation came in a tad bit too late and much closer to the release date of the film, others rued the fact that an artist had to buckle under political pressure. Some welcomed an official statement from Johar, saying that finally others can stop speaking for the director.
Here are some of the reactions to Johar’s statement on Twitter.
#KaranJohar You are still getting it wrong, you tried to sound like anationalist,as in asocial, hence the outrage. Get you bearings right.
— SKSudan (@sumansudan) October 18, 2016
Watte an actor #KaranJohar is! In the given circumstance did he act this move better or direct this move better? Diplomatically ‘scripted’!
— Bhavyatejj (@bhavyatejj) October 18, 2016
Karan Johar realized Country Comes First after 30 days of Uri, 20 days of Surgical Strike and 10 days before release of Ae Dil Hai Mushkil
— Anshul Saxena (@AskAnshul) October 18, 2016
“For Me My Country Comes First, Nothing Else Matters”: Karan Johar.#ADHM
But He Didn’t Clarify Which Country, India Or Pak. ;) #KaranJohar
Karan Johar: Artists should not be targeted.
bhakts: shame on you traitor
KJ: won’t work with pak actors
bhakts: such greed for money
— Sayan Basu (@SayanBasuTweets) October 18, 2016
Only 1 thing I can make out of @karanjohar‘s teary eyed video, do not let my financial interest suffer because I casted a Pak actor in ADHM.
— Devika (@Dayweekaa) October 18, 2016
Dear Karan Johar, if you want to fight Pak’s terror by “spreading love”….better stay away from this. Leave it to our army and govt
— Manak Gupta (@manakgupta) October 18, 2016
Ashamed that we as a society have bullied @karanjohar into having to prove his patriotism. Anti national has become the label of the Mob
— barkha dutt (@BDUTT) October 18, 2016
Country comes first – Karan Johar
Sounds more like confession statement after 60 days of detention by rangers ????pic.twitter.com/PDK9Ik1Wgv
— Gumshuda Peace (@Rabeel_Tariq) October 18, 2016
#KaranJohar haha …so it wasn’t the martyrdom of soldiers which changed his heart but the prospect of his movie bombing at the boxoffice!
— St Whimsy 🇮🇳 (@Neera_26) October 18, 2016
What do you think of Johar’s statement? Tell us in the comments below.