Coming out in support of Pakistani actors on Tuesday, author and columnist Chetan Bhagat has said that preventing the release of films compliance with Indian laws is not justified and people must follow the law, irrespective of sentiments of the people.
His statement has come amid ongoing controversy over the release of ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ over having Pakistani actor Fawad Khan in the star cast. After the Uri attack, in which 19 Indian soldiers were killed by terrorists, there were calls from some quarters within the country not to take Pakistani actors in Indian films or serials. In fact, Maharashtra Nav Nirman Sena had even announced they would not allow the release of those movies having Pakistani stars in it, after which Cinema Owners Exhibitors Association of India’s (COEAI) decision not to screen any film starring artists from the neighbouring country.
There are all kinds of arguments and counter arguments going on since last few weeks on whether to allow Pakistani actors in Indian movies and serials or not. While Mahesh Bhatt, Anurag Kashyap, actors Salman Khan, Shruti Seth and several others, who asked what has the films to do with terrorism. On Sunday Abhijeet Bhattacharya even countered Kashyap’s statement on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s trip to Lahore last year, by asking why was the PM dragged in every small issue.
Late on Tuesday, Karan Johar came out with clarifications that for him the country comes first and pledged never to have Pakistani actors in his next films. The actor also said that film was shot at a different time when the government was trying to improve relations with Pakistan.