Anurag Kashyap Let’s Modi Have It While Few In Bollywood Speak Up Against The ‘ADHM’ Ban

When ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ was being shot, things were okay between India and Pakistan. In fact, our Prime Minister trotted over there quite happily around that same time. Then the Uri attacks happened and people who were seeking some sort of justice were misled into thinking that banning Pakistani artistes from working or performing in the country would somehow makeup for everything.

With this in mind, the Cinema Owners and Exhibitors Association of India (which covers many single screen theaters in the country) decided to ban films that featured Pakistani artistes and technicians starting with KJo’s ‘ADHM’, which features Pakistani actor Fawad Khan in a reportedly minor role. The movie will face this ban in the states of Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat and parts of Karnataka.

Anurag Kashyap is no stranger to controversy and the director tackled this latest bit of political rabble-rousing with his usual straightforwardness.


Obviously, this tone didn’t go down well with Modi supporters, who found all reasons to attack the director for his opinions.

Meanwhile, during an award function, Karan Johar’s ex-friend and sometime Bollywood actress Kajol was asked her opinion on the matter. “Really sad about that. But I’m not gonna talk about anything related to that currently. I am here for this Filmfare style awards, let’s stick to that,” said the actress. Of course, her husband’s movie ‘Shivaay’ releases on the same day as ‘ADHM’ so the actress can’t be feeling too bad for KJo.


As far as multiplexes are concerned, they’re being very tight-lipped about the whole matter. On condition of anonymity, one source revealed to TOI:

“It’s a Karan Johar film, so it has an urban appeal and is predominantly meant for the multiplex audience. The single screens have ‘Shivaay’. All multiplexes hold meetings on Tuesdays, to discuss the forthcoming Friday’s release, so a decision will be taken only three days prior to release. I don’t see why multiplexes will not screen this film. No one would like to lose out on business, especially during Diwali. Political parties creating a ruckus is not new, we will need the police to cooperate.”

Mahesh Bhatt, director, also supported Karan Johar. “The mother of all questions is: Is India going to be run by the rule of law, or by the mood swings and whims of a handful of people? The producers’ body and theatre owners’ association need to show compassion and behave justly with Karan Johar. This is willful blindness. How can we not see that these movies were shot when the relationship of the Prime Minister of India and his Pakistani counterpart were at its very best?”


Sunil Bansal, a distributor-exhibitor, stated, “The association should have a liberal attitude and not penalise films that are ready for release. After all, our fellow Indian’s money is at stake. Movies that are ready for release and those that have been shot should not be harmed. If they want to ban actors, they should take this stand for films that are yet to begin.”

Vipul Shah, filmmaker, had this to say, “These films started when Indo-Pak peace process was underway. I agree that we should be careful if we are starting a film with a Pakistani artiste, but how is it reasonable to stall a film produced by an Indian, who has invested crores of rupees on something that began when the peace process was on? If anyone starts a film today with a Pakistani artiste, the position can be different. The association should not punish Indian filmmakers like this.”


Ashoke Pandit, Vice-President, IMPPA, seemed to think that Karan Johar was merely paying the price of ignoring him and not commenting on the political issue. “We didn’t want to stall the release of Karan’s film or impact its release in any manner. But our ban was to stop filmmakers from involving Pakistani talent in future. We made ample effort to talk to MNS and convince them to not stop the film, but not once did Karan talk to us or support us in any manner. He is paying the price for his silence. He didn’t condemn the Pakistani artistes when they didn’t comment on the Uri attacks, he should have. It will make a huge dent in his business if the single screens stick to their decision. It’s a cluster that he cannot ignore.”

So come 28 October and we’ll find out exactly how effective this ban will be.

Of course, banning ‘ADHM’ for Fawad Khan is like liking ‘Sholay’ for Jaya Bachchan’s role. Here poor Indians like Aishwarya Rai and Ranbir Kapoor are hoping that all the raunchiness of ‘ADHM’ will save their failing careers and all anybody talks about is Fawad Khan. These Pakistani actors na, too much! Just too much!


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