Week Before Film’s Release, Karan Johar Takes ‘Mushkil’ To Rajnath Singh

NEW DELHI: Home Minister Rajnath Singh will meet movie producers including Karan Johar in the middle of a controversy over his film ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’, set to be released on Diwali weekend.

Groups like Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena have threatened to block the film, which stars Pakistani actor Fawad Khan, and vandalise cinemas that screen it. They say films with Pakistani artistes should be banned completely to respect public sentiment after the Uri attack last month in which 19 soldiers were killed by terrorists from Pakistan.

The government has assured protection to cinemas where the film will be screened October 28 onward.

Karan Johar, in a video statement on Tuesday, said he would not work with Pakistani actors in future but pleaded the cause of “Ae Dil…”

“Going forward I would like to say of course I will not engage talent from neighbouring country given the circumstance. With that same energy I beseech you to know one thing, that over 300 Indian people in my crew have put their blood, sweat and tears in Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and I don’t think it’s fair to them to face any kind of turbulence on account of other fellow Indians,” the 45-year-old filmmaker said.

He said he felt a “deep sense of hurt and pain” that people believed he is anti-national. “When I shot my film in September-December last year, the climate was completely different, circumstances were different. There were efforts made by our government for peaceful relationships with the neighbouring country and I respected those efforts then, and I respect the sentiment today… because I feel the same,” he said.

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