BJP plays patriot card, calls for ban on film release

Posted on Oct 8 2016 - 7:31am
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BJP plays patriot card, calls for ban on film release

A meeting between the BJP city unit and theatre owners on Friday afternoon; Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, was due for a Diwali release, but it has raised political hackles after the recent Indo-Pak strife.

Multi-starrer with Pak actor in LoC crossfire

Following MNS stance in Mumbai, party meets with producers and theatre owners, asking them not to screen Ae Dil Hai Mushkil as a show of solidarity with lives lost in Uri terror attack; producers feel only Indians stand to lose precious revenue from this

The Centre may not have been swayed by the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena’s (MNS) insistence on emptying the Indian shores of Pakistani actors. But, barely a fortnight on, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the state is towing the MNS line, asking all multiplexes and single theatres to refrain from releasing movies with actors from conflict country.

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After an MNS protest in Mumbai demanding a ban on the release of Karan Johar’s Ae Dil hai Mushkil, the cast of which includes Pakistani actor Fawad Khan, BJP’s local unit called a meeting of theatre owners in Pune on Friday, telling them not to release the movie. “The entire country is feeling the loss of 20 soldiers in the Uri terror attack Pakistan is responsible for.

While India is in pain, the artistes coming in from Pakistan have not even condemned the terror attack. Instead, they are working here and earning money,” rued Sandeep Khardekar, member of BJP’s city working committee, who organised the meeting.

But theatre owners and producers are loathe to comply, insisting that such a move would only incur revenue losses for Indian citizens, while this show of patriotism would cost Pakistan nothing. The Uri terror attack and the surgical strikes from the Indian side have together put in limbo the future of the film, due for a Diwali release in the last week of October, raising political hackles amid a growing anti-Pakistan wave.

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“Looking at the current scenario between the two countries, we feel that the movies in which Pakistani artistes have worked or are working should not be released. In order to convey our demand, we held a meeting with the theatre owners,” Khardekar added, insisting that they have agreed to accept the demand.

Of course, theatre owners had quite the opposite to declare, saying that they were not in favour of the ban. Sadanand Mohol, president of the Pune Exhibitors Association, said, “We are all Indians and have condemned the attack on our army by the Pakistani terrorists. When it comes to showing patriotism, we are in sync with the entire country. However, we are reluctant to stop the screening of movies. A major source of income for theatres is only during the festival season. If we stop the release of movies, we will have to face huge losses. So, we feel that there should not be a ban on these movies.”

Even multiplex owners were of the same opinion, saying the ban on such movies will only affect the Indian citizens adversely. P Chafalkar, secretary of the Multiplex Association of India and owner of City Pride told Mirror, “As far as sentiments are concerned, we are Indians and against terrorism. However, the revenue losses after banning of movies will only be borne by us Indians. Even the government will lose revenue. So, ultimately, it is the loss of our country. We are waiting and watching what development takes place. However, if there is a decision taken by the authorities of not releasing the movies, we will be forced to abide by that.”

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Now, producers are making the rounds of political leaders’ homes to convince them of allowing the release of such movies. Speaking to Mirror, T P Aggarwal, president of the Indian Motion Picture Producers Association (IMPPA), shared, “We are meeting political leaders who are opposing the movies and trying to convey our stance to them. We agree that the situation between the two countries is tense. But, the Indian producers have already invested huge amounts of money in these films at a time when these two countries were not facing so much of a problem. We are trying to convince the political leaders to allow us to release the movies this time. We have assured that we will not assign any Pakistani artiste for future films, till the situation improves. If this fails, we will have to approach the government for intervention, but that would be our last resort.”

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BJP plays patriot card, calls for ban on film release was last modified: October 8th, 2016 by greendecker

This article was originally published on http://www.punemirror.in/pune/cover-story/BJP-plays-patriot-card-calls-for-ban-on-film-release/articleshow/54743471.cms