Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on October 25 reprimanded the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) for demanding donation of Rs. 5 crore from filmmakers for Army Welfare Fund.
Parrikar said that the army battle casualty fund is a voluntary and was created because many people across India requested to donate on their own to the jawans and martyrs and is not for catching anyone’s neck.
“Anyone can donate. Many times some events happen, the people want to give cheque to the concerned jawan. There was a continuous request from the people. So, we thought those who want to donate voluntarily can do so and we will formulate a scheme through which every shaheed will get equal benefit out of it.”
Recently MNS had reprimanded filmmakers for casting Pakistani artistes in their movies and demanded that these filmmakers to the Army Welfare Fund.
Parrikar further added that the Army Welfare Fund is an “ongoing exercise” like CM drought relief fund or flood relief funds.
“It is a voluntary donation and we, therefore, are not concerned with anyone demanding something to be donated to that. As far as what I saw, it does not mention about battle casualty fund. It says army welfare fund, that’s a separate fund. Tomorrow if someone wants to donate on Army Day then he can very well.”
Since MNS’s demand many serving and retired army officers had come forward and expressed their displeasure over the demand from the filmmakers and how they were forced into it.
In a recent meeting between filmmaker Karan Johar, Mukesh Bhatt, and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis the film-makers had accepted MNS’s condition and agreed to give Rs. 5 crore each to the Army Welfare Fund.