[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he Congress party is demanding the resignation of Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis for “brokering” a truce between Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray and the makers of the film Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, while ally Shiv Sena slammed the BJP for compromising the Army’s self-respect. The fact is that Mr. Fadnavis has opposed the offer of Rs. 5 crore contribution from the filmmakers to the Army Welfare Fund. However, the Indian Army has refused to accept such funds from film producers and requested power brokers, not to politicize the army for their mere political mileage.
Karan Johar’s film faced protests by MNS workers for casting Pakistani actor Fawad Khan. The film’s smooth release, scheduled to open on October 28, was ensured at a meeting between the Film Producers’ Guild, the producers and Raj Thackeray, mediated by Fadnavis last week. A key demand conceded at the meeting was Rs. 5 crore contributions from the filmmakers to the Army Welfare Fund. Raj had put three demands, out of which there was no objections to the other two parties. When the issue of Rs. 5 crore came up, Devendra intervened and made it clear to the Film Producers’ Guild that they need not have to agree to it. He also told them that the contribution has to be made voluntarily. However, it was the producers’ decision to accept it. In his presence deal was happened, that’s why Fadnavis was under attack. He would have taken bold step to say no to it. Anyway, he is a CM who was mitigating the matter amicably, to avoid undue situations ahead of festival season. Before this intervention, the Mumbai Police had arrested many MNS activists that action says the government had no ill intention behind it. The allegation on the CM is not true that he was playing from both sides. Though the CM is being criticised by some for being a part of meeting, but the steps taken by him were practical which has avoided uncertainty. MNS leaders may claim that it is their victory, but steps were taken to maintain peace and prevent damage to the public property. Remember during 2009 elections, IPL was shifted to South Africa as government expressed its inability to give security to each match.
Here, those who are criticising Devendra Fadanvis for brokering a deal to avoid, riots, bloodshed, loss of property during Diwali festival are forgetting that in the past also the same party has violated the law and the Congress government stood as a mute spectator. Why to enforce law, create chaos, when dispute can be resolved through judicial intervention? Both the parties have agreed to certain terms which are neither illegal nor brings any monetary gains to the protesting party. It was a wise step taken by the CM and I applaud the same. One has to deal with the situation in such a manner to minimize the collateral losses. In this context, CM has acted tactfully which does not mean that he succumbed to such forces. If the need arises, he will act tough to maintain law. As people are rejecting them in elections, parties like Shiv Sena and MNS are resorting to such heinous blackmailing tactics shamelessly using the sentiments of ‘nationalism and patriotism’ for political survival and monetary gain. Everybody knows about the extortion history of MNS and Sena. It’s high time; people should stop politicising every issue.
Pakistani artists are coming here to work because India offers them the prospect. First of all, why does India offer them this opportunity? Like the USA, Indian businesses do not want to say ‘no’ to the talent, wherever it comes from and therefore they’ve lobbied hard to make sure Indian government liberalises its work permit and visa rules. Moreover, Bollywood has global ambitions and it cannot attain that status without hiring foreign talents. These artists have nothing to do with cross border politics and prohibiting them will not solve any problem. However, if this is a way of showing anger then it should be shown every time, and not according to your benefits. Both Senas indulge in such publicity stunts when they need political mileage out of it. Why they don’t stick to their intent? Bollywood is earning huge amount from Pakistan as there is a huge fan following for our superstars there. We are earning good income then what we paid to their artists. Art and entertainment should be kept separate from politics because it does not believe in any boundaries. Politicians should not take advantage of every situation to divide people. Now, everything is digital. Indians love to watch each and every entertainment show, including popular Pakistani shows. So, art and entertainment have no boundaries. Entertainment is evaluated by what common people want to watch.
Earlier, Shah Rukh Khan also addressed about the ‘growing intolerance’ in the nation. In an answer to a question posted on Twitter, King Khan accepted that Indian society was suffering from widespread intolerance and the biggest mistake a patriot can make is to go against secularism in India. We can sit on the sidelines and complain but the guys putting crores into movies deserve the autonomy to decide who they want to cast – they are the best judges of talent because they are investing their money. If Bollywood movies are successful, then it’s good for India and this helps create more jobs as subsequent projects become bigger and bolder. As an unintended consequence of this, India gains additional ‘soft power’ status.
Work towards peace between India and Pakistan. We are wasting our precious resources fighting each other instead of pooling them for improving the life of our people in both the countries. More collaboration needs to happen in other fields as well. I think it will be an honour for Indian actors to go and work in Pakistani serials, which are much better in content and quality wise. There is a sizeable expatriate population from around the world which do businesses in India. Good omen, I would say!
Talent, ambition and passion do not need to flourish inside the boundaries. Art has no borders.
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