Known to be non-controversial and discreet Farhan Akhtar says he is “deeply disturbed” by the developments regarding the pressure tactics by a certain section of Maharashtra politicians to get Karan Johar’s Ae Dil Hai Mushkil released.
Says Farhan, “This is really disturbing.First of all we must understand that when KaranJohar worked with a Pakistani actor in his film, the atmosphere was conducive to peace and efforts were on to reach out to our neighbours. In fact our Prime Minister made a surprising totally unscheduled visit to Pakistan to carry ahead the peace process, and we all lauded his amazing initiative. Who was to know relations would sour between the two countries to the point where there is a call to cut off all ties?”
Farhan is not against severing all ties with Pakistan. “By all means, let’s stop all interaction between the two countries ,if that’s what will stop our soldiers from losing their precious lives. But why pick on the film industry? This happens repeatedly. We are forever the soft targets. The entertainment industry is being told to buckle under pressure . It’s not right. Trade between the two countries continues. Then why must filmmakers be penalized for using Pakistani actors at a time when there was no talk of an embargo?”
Regarding the MNS’ “advise” that filmmakers pay up Rs 5 crores to the army welfare fund if their film features Pakistani artistes, Farhan wonders, “We’ve the Indian government to make national policy decisions. Are we supposed to listen to the Indian government or to extraneous political outfits telling us what to do?”