This is what transpired. A movie, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil by Karan Johar was about to be released. Due to the Uri attacks, MNS publicly declared that they are going to block the movie because the producer cast Pakistani actors in that. The Pakistani actor in question, Fawad Khan has already scooted away home with the money he got. The real problem is not that. He was ready to condemn Paris terror attacks but there was a deafening silence over Uri. After safely ensconed in home, he gave a half hearted statement.
After all, belly is more important than anything else for a human being. For Farad Khan, if he openly opposes Uri, he is going to see hell in Pakistan. For Karan Johar, a few lives lost elsewhere are nothing when compared to the crores which will go down the drain. There was an arbitration between Raj Thackerey and Karan Johar done by the Chief Minister, Devendra Fadnavis with the outcome that Karan Johar will pay 5 crores to army relief fund and will put a commemorative display highliting the Uri issue. All were up with cudgels, including the army against MNS for extracting a ransom, in effect, blood money for releasing a movie. My take is that, MNS tried to find a way out of the logjam. Recognizing the loss the producer is going to take and to mollify the angry ranks and common public, they have asked some money to be transferred to the army exchequer, not to his personal or party account.
The drama continues. As usual, people take sides, some supporting the view that in a war like situation, national interests come first and some, asking not to link art and terror. Anurag Kashyap, then jumps into the bandwagon demanding the Prime Minister to apologize for visiting Pakistan. And today, Farhan Akthar states he is not going to give 5 crores to the welfare fund because the army declared it doesn’t accept coerced money.
This raises many questions.
1. Let’s start with the cast, including Fawad Khan. Fawad Khan came to India on a work visa. Even if there are troubles, is it correct to give a retrospective punishment for whatever was done in the past? Block any future visas or participate in a boycott for anything which is going to come, but for whatever that is completed?
2. Take Karan Johar. In such a situation, is a contempt towards anyone and anything except the money he poured in, is it necessary? Why didn’t it strike his mind to donate voluntarily and offer a public apolgy for casting Pakistani actors? Why should someone remind him of his duty towards the nation? Rather than taking the way he took, asking a tax rebate in lieu of reshooting all the scenes casting Pakistanis would have made him a darling in the eyes of these nationalists. The same is more applicable towards Farhan Akthar who held his money even closer to his heart. Contrast this with how people donated their jewellery for 1965. These things, patriotism, social responsibility and the likes need not be taught by anyone. They should come from within.
3. Anurag Kashyap’s immature comment of demanding apology from the Prime Minister highlights another big issue. There is too much exposure to armchair pundits who have zero knowledge over a topic. A big zero in foreign affairs and realpolitik, the fault lies with the media for giving his comments exposure. Let all people blabber whatever they want. Doesn’t it become the responsibility of the media to sift the garbage from what is actually needed for public consumption?
The point here is simple. It’s high time we recognize what we are, what we are capable of and decide what are our priorities – is it fighting for the country’s interests or is it pulling BJP down without realizing that BJP is the sole representative of India today? Too much attention is given to non-issues and it’s high time the press and the country decides the correct priorities. India’s equals in the world are China and Russia, not Pakistan or Somalia. Remember what Hitler did to Emil Hacha. That is Pakistan’s status today before India and that’s what India needs to project. The news should talk about comparisions with USA or China or Russia, not Pakistan or ISIS or Somalia. 

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