Acclaimed filmmaker Shyam Benegal who contributed to shape the new wave Indian cinema is saddened by the plight of Karan Johar.
As it seems now the film Ae Dil Hai Mushkil (ADHM) is penalized for using the Pakistani Fawad Khan who earned praise for his acting skills.
Benegal wants the government to step in to protect the film industry which is particularly vulnerable. “I am very saddened by what he had to say because the poor chap (Karan) is being unnecessarily harassed in a way because after all, over Rs.50 crore is at stake. What do you expect him to say?,” Benegal said.
“Film industry is particularly vulnerable. They (film fraternity) need to be protected from people who will threaten them or attack them. We cannot avoid these things. Government has to protect us against these kind of attacks,” added Benegal referring to several political outfits’ threats to multiplexes who will screen ADHM soon.
The filmmaker, who heads the government-appointed revamp panel of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), expressed after the latest turn of events when Karan broke his silence about the forthcoming film, which will release on October 28, two days before Diwali.
In a two-minute long video, Karan said that he is hurt on being labelled “anti-national” ahead of the release of his directorial and production venture ADHM, and said he would not engage with talent from Pakistan “in the circumstance”.
Benegal feels the “government should protect people like that. It is the duty of the government to protect people against the kind of threats that he (Karan) probably has received or is likely to receive”.
Benegal asserts that no one is being unpatriotic, “Nobody has done anything unpatriotic. If you are born here, got education here, are working here, making your livelihood here and are voting every election, then why should you be constantly told to prove your credentials. What more credentials do you want? If you are an Indian then you are an Indian and are proud to be an Indian. I don’t have to say that every day and every morning from my terrace that ‘I am an Indian, and I am proud Indian’,” he said. – CINEWS