Karan Johar’s “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil” In Trouble, As Cinema Owners Say No To Pak Actors

MUMBAI: Just a few days before Karan Johar’s eagerly awaited film ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ is bound to release, some theatre owners have said films starring Pakistani actors should not be screened given “public sentiment” over terror attacks from across the border including in Uri last month.

The Cinema Owners and Exhibitors Association of India and Censor Board Chief Pahlaj Nihalani – who is a member of the association – have emphasized that there is no ban on any film.

Mr Johar’s mega film prominently stars Pakistan’s Fawad Khan, who has a sizeable fan following in India.

“We have decided that these films (with Pak actors) should not be screened in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka and Goa… keeping in mind patriotic feelings and national interests,” Nitin Datar, the chief of the cinema owners’ association said after a meeting.

The association is largely linked to single screen theatres, not multiplexes, and has members in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Goa.

Mr Johar’s film with Ranbir Kapur, Aishwarya Rai and Anushka Sharma in lead roles is scheduled for a Diwali release.
Another film that could be affected is Ritesh Sidhwani’s “Raees” starring Shah Rukh Khan and Pakistani actor Mahira Khan, which is to release in January.

Pahlaj Nihalali has criticised the cinema owners’ call though he is a member. “Films already shot before changed relations between India and Pakistan should not be affected. Once cleared by censor board, the association does not have the right to ban or take decision not to screen a film,” said the Censor Board chief.

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