Mumbai: Faced with trouble over the release of his film ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’, filmmaker Karan Johar on Tuesday broke his silence finally and said he is hurt for being termed as “anti-national” by few people for casting Pakistani actor Fawad Khan in his film.
In an emotional video message, Johar said: “There has been some talk of why remained silent for the past two weeks. Today I would like to clarify why I remained silent. It is because of a deep sense of hurt, deep sense of pain that I felt, that a few people would actually believe that I am being anti-national.”
He said for him India comes first before anything else and he condemns any form of terrorism.
“I need to say this and I say this with strength that for me my country comes first. Nothing else matters but my country. I always felt that the best way to express your patriotism is through love and that’s all I always tried to do through my work, and my cinema,” said the director.
Johar also made it clear that when he started shooting the film the circumstances were different and India and Pakistan shared a “peaceful” relation back then.
“When I shot my film Ae Dil Hai Mushkil – in September to December last year – the climate was completely different, the circumstances were completely different. There were efforts made by our country for peaceful relationships with the neighbouring countries and I respect those efforts then, those endeavors then, and I respect the sentiment today,” he said.
Johar said he understands the present situation and almost pledged to not engage any Pakistani actor in his upcoming endeavours.
“I understand the sentiment because I feel the same. Going forward I would like to say of course I will not engage talent from neighbouring country given the circumstance,” said he.
However, he said that it is unfair to stall the release of his film, which has the effort of several people, due to this turbulence.
“With that same energy I beseech you to know one thing that over 300 Indian people in my crew have put their blood, sweat and tears in Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and I don’t think it is fair to them to face any kind of turbulence on account of other fellow Indians,” said Johar.
The filmmaker said he salutes the valour of the Indian Army.
“I respect the Indian Army, I salute the Indian Army for everything they do to protect us in our environment. I respect them with all my heart and I say I condemn any form of terrorism. Any form, especially the terrorism that would affect the people of my country and me,” Johar added.
“I hope all of you understand the circumstance and situation we are in and respect the fact we love and respect our country over and above anything else,” he concluded.
This comes after Cinema Owners Exhibitors Association of India (COEAI) on Saturday announced that they would not screen movies starring Pakistani artistes in the four states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka and Goa.
‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ features Ranbir Kapoor, Anushka Sharma and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in lead roles along with Pakistani actor Fawad Khan.
The statement was made amid tensions over troubled India-Pakistan relations following Uri attack.
‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ is supposed to release across the country on Oct 28.
India Blooms News Service