Allowing Pakistani artistes to be cast in an Indian film in return for a monetary compensation is not "patriotic or in the national interest", Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray has alleged. He was referring to the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena's (MNS) demand that producers of Ae Dil Hai Mushkil pay ₹5 crore compensation towards an army welfare fund before "allowing" them to release the film.
"We oppose Pakistan at all times," Thackeray told The Indian Express. "But now if someone is saying that by paying ₹5 crore, you can bring Pakistani artistes to the Indian film industry — then you are continuing to give them opportunity and trying to accommodate them. It does not sound patriotic or in the national interest to me."
Film producer Karan Johar had met MNS chief Raj Thackeray along with Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday, where Johar agreed to pay the "compensation" for casting Pakistani talent in his film. Uddhav Thackeray joked about the meeting, claiming the meeting would result in a film called Yeh Toh Hona Hi Tha, reported Express.
Earlier, Raj Thackeray had said that all producers who involve Pakistani artistes in their films must pay "penance" and pay ₹5 crores to the Army Welfare Association. Following the meeting, the Film and Television Producers Guild of India passed a resolution to not include Pakistani artistes in their films, said the organisation's president Mukesh Bhatt.
Meanwhile, current and former Army officials have said they don't want any money "extorted" from Indian filmmakers.
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