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After CM’s intervention, Raj Thackeray agrees to the release of the current projects.
Karan Johar and leading Hindi mainstream cinema producers heaved a sigh of relief on Saturday after receiving the green light for the release of controversial Ae Dil Hai Mushkil by MNS chief Raj Thackeray. Not only Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, but all other Hindi mainstream movies with Pakistani artistes, which are in the pipeline, will also be released after completion without any problems. But the truce has been brokered on one condition — Hindi film producers will not rope in any Pakistani technician, artiste or singer in any future production from now on. All it took was a few calls from Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to Raj Thackeray. Fadnavis mediated and successfully brokered peace in the matter. A final meeting of Hindi film producers at the CM’s official bungalow “Varsha” on Saturday morning, led to the last call to Raj Thackeray in which the MNS chief is learnt to have put a few conditions for the release. With the stand of the ruling alliance Shiv Sena also being the same about Pakistani artistes, it has raised questions on whether this truce for a few movies will close the doors for all artistic collaborations in Hindi films in the future.
Mukesh Bhat, leading producer and representative of producers’ guild, rubbished Raj Thackeray’s demand of Rs 5 crore for the Army Welfare Fund. “We went and met the CM. We discussed everything with him. The issue has been sorted out. Ae Dil Hai Mushkil will release all over India on 28 October. Also, all those films with Pakistani talent which are in the pipeline or are stuck, will be released without any problems. After that, we will not work with any Pakistani talents. For us, the sentiments of our country and our Army are of utmost importance. We don’t want to upset them.”
When asked about Raj Thackeray’s demand of Rs 5 crore as repentance money (prayashchitta) for collaborating with Pakistanis, he said, “No such thing has been committed to the CM. I don’t want to get into unnecessary controversy. The producers will decide on this on voluntary basis. Anyway, Karan Johar has already said that irrespective of anything else, he wants to contribute towards our martyrs’ families, and will meet the Defence Minister to offer a cheque.”
Raj Thackeray told reporters soon after the Chief Minister’s call to him that he had laid down certain conditions for the release of the movies. “Before the movie begins, they will have to display a board offering condolences to our Uri martyrs. I also want a letter from the Producers’ Guild that it will not sign any Pakistani artistes, technicians and singers in the future. As repentance, all those producers who signed Pakistani artistes, should pay Rs 5 crore towards the Army Welfare Fund. This is the success of our agitation. I don’t think any Indian will go to watch these movies. We have been protesting about it since the beginning, but they did not understand our language earlier,” he said.
“After this truce, all the threatre owners, whether multiplex or single screen, will now be willing to screen Ae Dil Hai Mushkil. There are no apprehensions about it anymore. About the future, it has already been decided by the Producers’ Guild that they will not work with any Pakistani artistes, technicians, singers anymore. So, such a stalemate happening in the future again is difficult,” Vinay Choksey, partner at VIP movies, told The Sunday Guardian. He represents the multiplex and single screen theatre owners.
Meanwhile, though Shiv Sena did not get aggressive about stopping the release of Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, the party leadership has already made it clear that it is against any collaboration with Pakistan. “There is no question of any collaboration with Pakistani artistes when the country is engaged in continuous strikes against us. Till that stops, there should be no engagement with Pakistan’s people, artistes in any way,” a senior party leader said, reiterating Uddhav Thackeray’s stand on the issue.
The Producers’ Guild has already agreed that it will not hire any Pakistani artiste from now on. “Some proceeds of the earnings from Ae Dil Hai Mushkil will go to the families of our martyrs. We will also donate to the Army Welfare Fund,” Mukesh Bhat had said earlier.
This article was originally published on http://www.sundayguardianlive.com/news/7017-future-tense-pak-artistes