By Hiten J. Trivedi
On Friday afternoon, the members of Cinema Owners and Exhibitors Association of India (COEAI) conducted a meeting regarding the controversial ban on Karan Johar’s to-be-released film ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’. The association came to the conclusion of putting the film on hold in four states including Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa and parts of Karnataka.
TOI contacted veteran filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt for his take on the issue. We asked him whether this decision is unfair to Karan Johar and Rahul Dholakia, who made their films months before the Uri Attacks took place.
“The producers’ body and the Theatre Owner Association need to show compassion and behave justly with Karan Johar and Rahul Dholakia,” he responded. “This is willful blindness. How can we not see that these movies were shot when the relationship between the Prime Minister of India and the PM of Pakistan were at its very best.”
He went on to ask a question which may give gossip mongers a reason to debate. “Finally the mother of all questions is: Is the country going to be run by the rule of law or by mood swings and the whims of a hand full of people. We can’t take permanent decisions on ‘temporary emotions’. We can’t make the people of our own country who have made huge investments to suffer because of this diktat.”
Talking about the current socio-political mood he said, “Terrorism exacts an enormous toll on our way of life and our way of thinking. It devastates the global economy. These terror attacks have destroyed in one stroke the cultural bridge that the people of India and Pakistan had built brick by brick to bring about enduring peace.”