Veteran actress Shabana Azmi on Sunday questioned whether Raj Thackeray-led MNS will decide if she is patriotic or not and slammed Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis for allegedly facilitating the extortion of money from Bollywood producers.
Earlier, MNS had opposed the release of the film ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ for featuring a Pakistani actor Fawad Khan. While police were quick to arrest party workers who had staged a protest in Metro theatre, Fadnavis was criticized for allowing MNS to continue and eventually brokering a deal between the party and filmmakers.
Shabana took to her microblogging account to express her views on the subject, while accusing Fadnavis of of ‘buying’ patriotism.
“What a sorry state of affairs! CM brokers deal and buys patriotism for Rs 5 crore! After Home Minister had promised peaceful passage for ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ (ADHM). CM Fadnavis shows scant respect for Home Minister’s assurance of safe passage for ADHM. BJP better haul him up and demand explanation,” she posted.
Fadnavis had convened a meeting on Saturday which was attended by MNS President Raj Thackeray, Karan Johar and Film and Television Producers Guild of India’s President Mukesh Bhatt, among others at his residence, Varsha, to resolve the imbroglio.
The CM intervened in the matter after Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had visited Mumbai and met representatives of Bollywood. Singh had assured Johar that his film will release as scheduled and promised to make adequate security arrangements.
Following the meet, Thackeray announced that his party will allow the release of ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’, albeit on certain conditions.
Thackeray demanded that every producer, who has employed Pakistani artists, should pay Rs 5 crore each into the Indian Army’s welfare fund as ‘penance’.
Thackeray also stated that henceforth, all Pakistani artistes, including actors, singers and directors shall be permanently banned from Bollywood.
Shabana further posted “Sangh Parivar speaks in different voices most blatant expression is CM Maharashtra brokering deal with MNS instead of enforcing law and order for ADHM release…MNS will decide whether I’m patriotic or not? I bow to the Indian Constitution Raj Thackeray does not. Who’s patriotism needs questioning?”
Fellow veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah also slammed MNS for their unreasonable demands.
“The film industry is an easy target. They (MNS) have as much fun targeting the industry as they would have while watching films made by Bollywood. We haven’t broken diplomatic ties with Pakistan, nor are we in the state of war, or have sealed our borders. Only artistes who aim to spread the message of love and peace are being attacked,” Shah said during a book launch on Saturday.
‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’, starring Ranbir Kapoor, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Anushka Sharma, is set to release on October 28.
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