Amey Khopkar of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena called filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt a “stupid man” on Friday. Applauding the Cinema Owners Association for taking a decision to boycott all Pakistani actors, technicians and workers of any sort, he accused Mahesh Bhatt of not being an Indian and asked him to go to Pakistan. Earlier, Khopkar had led the protest against filmmaker Karan Johar’s residence after Johar took a stand against MNS’ deadline for Pakistani artists to leave the country. Following the Uri terror attack, and the Pakistani artists’ failure to condemn it or speak against it, MNS has been firm on its stand of not allowing any of them to work in the country.
Veteran filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt has opposed the idea of asking Pakistani artists to leave the nation, along with his peers that included Karan Johar. Bhatt has been quite vocal about his opinion that not working with these artists would not solve the real problem of terrorism. Meanwhile, Nitin Datar, President of the Cinema Owners Association in an interaction with media said that since Pakistan banned all the Indian content, the association has come to a decision to boycott every Pakistani artist working in the country.
The debate over Pakistani artists have escalated and seems to have divided Bollywood. Actor Ajay Devgn earlier had refused to work with Pakistani artists and condemned their silence on the terror attack in Uri. He had said that the exchange of culture cannot continue unless that exchange of blood stops between both the countries. Meanwhile, Karan Johar’s ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ is also facing a ban by the Cine Owners Association.