Union home minister Rajnath Singh assured Ae Dil Hai Mushkil producers on Thursday that the movie will get a “safe and secure” release, days after the Karan Johar film ran into trouble because of a call to ban Pakistani artistes.
An umbrella delegation of film and television producers met Singh and said the minister assured them a “great Diwali” and 100% support in releasing the film despite ban calls by nationalist groups and political parties.
The film – which stars Pakistani actor Fawad Khan – ran into a storm of protests after nationalist groups, an umbrella organization of single-screen threatres and the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena said they won’t let any movie featuring Pakistani artistes get screened in Indian cinemas.
“Rajnath Singh said he will speak to chief minister of every state and that Ae Dil Hai Mushkil will release without any violence or issue,” delegation head Mukesh Bhatt was quoted as saying by ANI.
Before the meeting, Union minister Babul Supriyo hit out at protesters who have threatened to attack and stall the movie’s screenings, saying the MNS shouldn’t have the right to create ruckus at theatres.
“The MNS should not have the right or audacity to create ruckus at theatres, they have always been a party of goons,” ANI quoted Supriyo, a former Bollywood singer, as saying.
The protesters say deteriorating relations with Islamabad and the death of 19 soldiers in a militant attack on an army base last month hiring Pakistani artistes is an anti-national act. The protests have also triggered widespread condemnation of what many see as rabid nationalism and bullying.
After the protests broke out, Johar publicly stated that he wouldn’t hire any Pakistani artistes in the future and that when Ae Dil Hai Mushkil was being made, bilateral relations were normal. But that has failed to impress the demonstrators, who say they will attack any theatre that screens the movie.
The Maharashtra government has, however, assured protection to cinemas where the film will be screened.