SRK meets Raj Thackeray, to discuss the film and promotions, ahead of Raees release

Indian entertainment industry faces repercussions of Uri attack. Bollywood becomes India and Pakistan’s latest battleground as relationships between the two countries hit a new low.

Shah Rukh Khan’s Raees is releasing on January 25, 2017, and to avoid any issues at the last moment, SRK met Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray to discuss the film and promotions.

“MNS had threatened to stall ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’s release because it featured Pakistani actor Fawad Khan. Fearing a repeat (Pakistani actress Mahira Khan makes her Bollywood debut in Raees), Shah Rukh Khan met Raj Thackeray to clarify that Mahira won’t be part of the promotions of the film in any way.”

“Nation Comes First”, Bollywood and Indian Business Sings in Unison

As the call for banning Pakistani artistes grew after the terrorist attacks, few Bollywood Celebrities did speak out saying Arts and Politics should not be mixed.

But then, probably for the first time, you also had a few biggies speak about the nation coming first, and that included Mukesh Ambani as well, the chairman of Reliance Industries and India’s richest businessman.

“I’m absolutely clear about one thing — for me, it is always country first,” said Mukesh Ambani.

And when cricketer Gautam Gambhir, Bollywood actors Ajay Devgan and Nana Patekar, also joined Mukesh Ambani saying the “Nation comes first”, there were very few who raised their views.

Rs. 5 Crore for the Films Release?

Karan Johar’s Ae Dil Hai Mushkil will finally see a smooth release after the Industry biggies managed to make peace with MNS chief Raj Thackeray.

However, it seems the filmmakers have to shell out 5 crore towards the Army relief fund, because the movie has a Pakistani actor (Fawad Khan).

MNS chief Raj Thackeray met Mukesh Bhatt, Karan Johar at Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis’ office. Producers Sidharth Roy Kapur, Sajid Nadiadwala and Vijay Singh were also present in the meeting, where Raj Thackeray agreed not to protest the films release.

In return, Mukesh Bhatt (president of Film & Television Producers Guild of India) assured that the industry will not work with any Pakistani artists in the future.

Karan will also display a slate of tribute for URi martyrs before Ae Dil Hai Mushkil starts playing out in the screens . The producers of the film will also contribute a portion of the film’s revenue to the Army welfare fund.

Want to cast Pakistani artist? Pay Rs 5 crore to Army relief fund says MNS chief Raj Thackeray
“Every producer who has cast a Pakistani actor must contribute Rs 5 crore to the Army welfare fund,” MNS chief Raj Thackeray said after the meeting.

The MNS chief also asked “While Pakistan has banned Indian content, why do we give them a red carpet here”.

“When (MNS leader) Raj Thackeray brought up this topic of Rs 5 crore (donation to the Army Welfare Fund) during the meeting, I told the Film Producers Guild clearly that I am opposed to it and that you don’t need to accept it. We had no issues over the other two conditions (about Pak artistes being banned from future movie projects and showing a slide paying tribute to soldiers before the screening of the film). I told them in front of Raj that the contribution has to be voluntary and upon how much patriotism you feel. I clearly told them that you need not pay this amount. However, the producers themselves were keen on it and said that they wanted to pay.” – Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis

Fallout of Uri Attack: Mahira Khan to be Replaced in Raees!

Getting a break in Bollywood is a big thing, and if you get an opportunity to work with SRK, you should definitely consider yourself lucky. Pakistani actress Mahira Khan was that lucky person, until the Uri attack happened.

The Indo-Pakistan stand-off has claimed its first casualty in Bollywood. Mahira Khan will not be a part of Shah Rukh Khan’s upcoming release Raees.

“It was a very painful decision for producer Ritesh Sidhwani to take. The pressure to replace her had been building up for months. It reached a crescendo after the URI attacks. It came to a point where it became impossible to shoot with any Pakistani. People suggested all kinds of solutions to the impasse, including shooting in Dubai. But it didn’t seem viable. Now Mahira has unfortunately been relieved of her duties,” said a source close to the filmmakers.

A hunt is now on for another Bollywood actress.

Now that the Hindi film industry has agreed that they will not cast any Pakistani artiste in the future, will Fawad Khan ever get to work in Bollywood again?

Only time will tell!

Fallout of Uri attack: Will banning Pakistani artists & shows help?

Several Indian soldiers lost their lives in the Uri attack (in Jammu and Kashmir), which was condemned by Indians all over the world. The Indian government is under pressure to take strict actions against terrorism.

Meanwhile, the effects of the terrorist attack is being felt in the entertainment industry.

Maharashtra-based political party Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) has called for a ban on Pakistan artists, shows and even Bollywood films that will featuring Pakistani actors.

Films to be impacted:

  • Karan Johar’s Ae Dil Hai Mushkil starring Fawad Khan
  • Shahrukh Khan’s Raees that has Mahira Khan
  • Shah Rukh Khan’s Dear Zindagi that has Pakistani singer-actor Ali Zafar

Akshay Kumar, who was deeply disturbed with the news, has provided financial assistance to the families of martyred soldiers in Uri attack by honouring them with cheques worth Rs. 5 lakhs and Rs. 10 lakhs.

Filmmaker Karan Johar’s ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ release could be impacted (scheduled for Diwali), as the movie features Pakistani actors Fawad Khan and Imran Abbas, and MNS has issued a warning to the filmmaker against releasing the film.

“This is not a solution. The larger forces have to come together and sort the situation and this cannot be banning talent or art.

I feel vulnerable and scared while even saying this. I completely feel the pain and anger. If my film is targeted because of this, it will make me exceptionally sad because my intent was to put out a product out of love and nothing else,” says Karan Johar

Several Indian television channels have also stopped showing Pakistani shows on TV.

TV actor Karan Patel says, “Banning films and artists is futile. As an actor, I feel disheartened that it is a fellow actor from a different industry who has to face the flak every time.

If problems are happening at the border, let the Indian Government send out a message out there itself.

Pakistani singers in Bollywood
Top Pakistani Singers in Bollywood

Singer Abhijeet Bhattacharya, who has always been vocal about his opposition to Pakistani artistes working in India, called the Bollywood Khans — Shah Rukh, Salman and Aamir Khan “shameless” for breeding Pakistani actors. He also attacked Karan Johar and Mahesh Bhatt on twitter for ‘breeding and feeding Pakistani actors’.

When Ghulam Ali’s concert was cancelled in India, the singer had called the ghazal maestro a ‘dengue artist’.