Karan Johar’s dream film ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’, in all likelihood, will not be able to keep its date with cinema screens this Diwali. The Cinema Owners and Exhibitors Association of India (COEAI) have decided that no films starring any Pakistani actors will be released in theatres.
Nitin Datar, head of the Cine Owners Association said, “Till the relations between India and Pakistan become normal, no films with Pakistani actors can be released.” This decision has already been put in place in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa and parts of Karnataka. Datar added that the Cine Owners Association will convey their decision to other states as well.
This decision comes in the wake of major backlash from several Indians against Pakistani artists working in India and those employing them.
Datar said that if single-screen theatres are set on fire during a screening of Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, the responsibility of keeping people safe from danger will fall on the theatre owners. Therefore, keeping all possibilities in mind, the Cine Owners Association has decided to bar the screening of the Karan Johar film in theatres.
“Taking national sentiments and security issues into account, we cannot allow the release of Ae Dil Hai Mushkil,” Datar said.
On the same note, when asked about the losses that theatre owners would incur if Ae Dil Hai Mushkil is banned from screening, MNS leader Ameya Khopkar said, “Nation comes first. We don’t care about losses faced by producers. There will be trouble in theatres if Ae Dil Hai Mushkil is released. Yes, we are threatening.”
Last week, Mr Khan broke his silence on the controversy and said in a Facebook post: “As a father of two little children, I pray and wish like many others that together we can build and live in a more peaceful world. I believe we owe it to our children who will shape our tomorrow.”