Mumbai: Amid widespread outrage over his decision to not replace Pakistani actor Fawad Khan in his upcoming directorial Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, under existing political tension between the two neighbouring countries, Karan Johar has finally come out to clarify his stance on the burning issue.
In an interview to a news channel, the filmmaker has clarified that the country is priority to him.
"I condemn terror in the strongest terms and I respect our Army. There has been some talk about why I remained silent, for the past two weeks. Reason why I remained silent is because of the deep sense of pain I felt that a few people would actually believe that I am being anti-National. For me my country comes first, nothing else matters to me but my country. The best way to express your patriotism is to spread love and that’s all I have ever tried to do through my work and cinema. When I shot my film ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ between September to December last year, the climate was completely different, circumstances were different,” he clarified.
Post the Uri terror attack, that claimed the lives of 19 Indian Armymen, and India’s retaliatory surgical strike on terror camps in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, there has been a generic dissent towards the involvement of Pakistani artistes in the Indian film industry.
The MNS (Maharashtra Navnirman Sena) had come out strongly asking for a blanket ban on Pakistani artistes and films featuring them, also giving them an ultimatum of 48-hours to leave the country. Karan’s ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil,’ and Shah Rukh Khan’s ‘Raees’ also featuring Mahira Khan had come under the scanner.
The industry had been polarised in its stance and Karan had been the most affected with the release of the film in itself being in jeopardy.
Filmmaker Mukesh Bhatt had said today that Pakistani actor Fawad Khan has a mere four-minute appearance in the film and requested the MNS to support the movie and protect a product made by Indians.
"This film has 150 technicians, only one Pakistani actor who has a four-minute scene. We have put in our money. It is a request to MNS, an appeal on the behalf of the whole film industry that we, all brothers, should come together and protect the investment made by Indians. Why should we spoil Diwali?" he had told reporters....