In a shocking series of tweets, actor Ajay Devgn has accused “self-proclaimed critic” Kamaal Rashid Khan (KRK) of taking money to malign his film. In an audio clip, KRK said that filmmaker Karan Johar paid him Rs 25 lakh to praise his film, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil (ADHM), and trash Devgn’s Shivaay, both of which release on Diwali this year.
While box office clashes are nothing new, such accusations and allegations only make way for more gossip. Earlier in 2012 also, Devgn had filed a legal complaint against YRF accusing them of indulging in unethical business practices over the number of screens allotted to Jab Tak Hai Jaan that released on the same day as Devgn’s Son of Sardaar.
This time, the twitter banter with KRK started on Thursday late night when Devgn posted an audio clip that Kumar Mangat Pathak, Producer and his business associate had recorded. Reportedly, Devgn suspected a foul play when KRK suddenly started to discredit Shivaay and was all praises for Johar’s upcoming film. Devgn even issued an official statement demanding probe if Johar was indeed involved in the matter.
His statement read, “I have been a part of the Indian film industry for the past 25 years and have been associated with over 100 films. My father was a professional action director and I have an emotional connection with this industry. It therefore pains me to see that people like Kamaal R Khan are holding the film industry to ransom by spreading negativity about films to extort money from producers. It is very sad that people from our own industry are supporting such elements and spoiling the ethos of the film industry. I would strongly demand that this be thoroughly investigated by competent authorities to clarify if Karan Johar was indeed involved in this.”
Soon after the audio clip surfaced on the internet and the fiasco picked up on social networking sites, KRK was quick to take it to Twitter and defend himself with countless tweets. In a whatsapp voice note sent to HT City, KRK said, “Madam, please listen to Devgn’s clip carefully. Kumar Mangat is continuously pestering me with the same question and I am repeatedly denying it. He is forcing me again and again. He’s my close friend, so to avoid him and cut short the conversation, I said that money thing just like that. Mangat is not a stranger that I can fabricate a story and say anything random. Bechare Karan Johar ne na mujhe koi paise diye hain, na main usse mila hu. (Poor Karan Johar has not given me any money, neither have I met him).”
When contacted, Karan Johar refused to comment on the matter. However a source close to him says, “KRK is the last person Karan would want to have a conversation with.”
As the battle gets ugly from here, we spoke to a few industry bigwigs and here’s what they have to say:
Choreographer-director Remo D’Souza says, “It’s a small industry and we all work together. I really don’t feel we should encourage discussing KRK. It’s wrong on his part that before any film releases, he talks crap about it. We should rather take action against him or let him talk and we just walk and work and not react.”
Adding that there definitely is a sense of insecurity when two big films are releasing on the same date, D’Souza states, “Understand that we can’t keep fighting with each other and there has to be an understanding between producers and directors. It’s sad that we have come to this level of accusing each other.”
TV Host Manish Paul who has been very close to Karan Johar says, “I think Karan KJo is a brand big enough that he doesn’t need these antics to make his movie work. Rest, they are all mature people and would sort this matter soon.”
Actor-filmmaker Piyush Mishra retorts, “KRK is the most stupid fellow and we all know his history. I don’t know why we are giving him so much mileage. Karan Johar is not a small name to stoop so low and give money to malign Ajay’s film. He’s making such forced allegations. Both Ajay and Karan are graceful people and KRK is playing dirty games to establish his name.”
Besides, several fraternity friends also took to Twitter to express their views.
Bigger ? behind KRK Ajay Devgan Karan Johar controversy is how many critics nd journalists actually take money to be favourable or do they?— Ram Gopal Varma (@RGVzoomin) September 2, 2016
It pains my heart that film industry is going through such bad times. Studios shutting down. Big Producers paying to kill other's films.— Vivek Agnihotri (@vivekagnihotri) September 1, 2016
Shocked https://t.co/0hDvRqUzMc— Kajol (@KajolAtUN) September 1, 2016
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