Cinema owners in India refuse to screen Fawad starring Ae Dil Hai Mushkil1,092 views
The Cinema Owners and Exhibitors Association of India (COEAI) on Friday announced that the movies starring Pakistani actors would not be screened in theatres.
The decision comes ahead of the scheduled release of Karan Johar’s “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil”, which stars Pakistani actor Fawad Khan.
While it was slated to hit the screens on October 28, the COEAI decision has cast doubts if it will see the light of the day any time soon.
COEAI President Nitin Datar said after a meeting of members: “It was decided that keeping in mind the patriotic feelings and national interest, we have requested all member exhibitors to refrain from screening movies which have involvement of any Pakistani artiste, technician, director or music director.
“We are also in the process of requesting other associations connected with the film industry to support the sentiments in the best interest of our nation,” he added.
The decision comes amid India-Pakistan tensions following a terror attack which killed 19 Indian soldiers.
The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena had earlier warned Pakistani actors to quit India.
“It doesn’t matter if they are Pakistani artists, Pakistani music directors or Pakistani directors. From now on we will not release their films,” said Nitin Datar, chairman of India’s Cinema Owners and Exhibitors Association (COEA).
The ban applies to single screen cinemas in four states — Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa and Karnataka — and not big multiplexes, which tend to be frequented by India’s more affluent.
Mumbai-based film trade analyst Akshaye Rathi told AFP that he expected the ban to affect between 300 and 350 movie theatres.
The move comes as Hindu nationalist groups pile pressure on the makers of upcoming release “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil” (“This Heart is Complicated”) to drop a Pakistani artist from the romantic drama.
The Karan Johar-directed movie — which stars former Miss World Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Bollywood star Ranbir Kapoor — features Pakistani playback singer Fawad Khan.
It also threatened to stall the October 28 release of “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil”.
The Indian Motion Picture Producers Association, which represents a number of Hindi film industry employees, last month passed a motion banning Pakistani artists until relations between India and Pakistan improve.
Tensions between the nuclear-armed states are high due to the ongoing unrest in Kashmir, which both claim as their own. – AFP