Asking questions to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government isn’t easy in new India. For, the act is often deemed as an act of treason with the ‘culprit’ lebelled as anti-national. And if the person asking question bears Muslim name, he/she is immediately declared an anti-national, who is also jihadi.
In this climate of fear and persecution by Modi government, filmmaker Anurag Kashyap has done the unthinkable by questioning Modi’s silence on the ban imposed on Karan Johar’s Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and Shah Rukh Khan’s Raees in the garb of nationalism.
He’s asked questions that friends in media ought to have asked. But since, the media, particularly TV, has made a spectacular transformation of once being a watchdog of the government to a mere lapdog, Kashyap’s act looks extraordinary.
Taking to Twitter, Kashyap wrote, “Sir you haven’t yet said sorry for your trip to meet the Pakistani PM.. It was dec 25th. Same time KJo was shooting ADHM? Why?. @narendramodi why is it that we have to face it while you can be silent?? @narendramodi and you actually diverted your trip on our tax money, while the film shot then was on money on which someone here pays interest. @narendramodi I am just trying to understand the situation because I am actually dumb and I don’t get it. Sorry if you feel offended.”
Kashyap signed off with the popular statement hijacked by members belonging to right-wing Hindutva forces and Modi’s party.
He wrote, “Btw Bharat Mata ki Jai Sir @narendramodi.”
Taking to Twitter, Kashyap also slammed Cinema Owners’s stand, writing, “The World must learn from us..We solve all our problems by blaming it on movies and banning it..#ADHM. With you on this @karanjohar.”
The outspoken filmmaker didn’t stop here. After a brief interval he once again posted series of tweets making his anger more clear adding more context to his anger.
His tweets said, “Just to make it clear, I complain because I expect my government to protect us, I question the PM because I have every right to..I am not going to address a party that has become redundant and irrelevant and is trying to find relevance again by using the film industry. We have been vulnerable for long, and have been paying the price by being used by every one to find any kind of standing.. And the real trade between the two countries across the border has not faced any kind of opposition, but we must pay the price for it.”
Kashyap was also not very kind to TV anchors known for beating the war drum and shouting inside the studio. He said, “And anyone who questions my love for the country by shouting , must prove there love by representing the country either on the border or prove your love by representing the country in a honourable way.. Not by shouting here.”
The maker of Udta Punjab also asked Modi to ensure safety for him and many others who criticised the central government’s policy.
He wrote, “And yes sir @narendramodi we need protection.. It’s really high time. I refuse to live in the fear created by blind fanatics that you cannot have a conversation with your PM or question him or expect from him. I would rather ask my questions directly to the PM than trying to impress him by fake nationalism of banning ‘what puts you in news.'”
Taking responsibility for his tweets, Kashyap said, “And media should stop trying to call me because you are wasting your time,because this all that I have to say and they were not drunk tweets.”
Alia bhatt too said that she felt it was unfair to stall the release of a film.
The actress, who is close to Johar, said she had seen bits of the movie and found it beautiful.
“On a personal level I found the film very beautiful and I’ve seen bits of it. It is an emotional film. On the other level, as a proud resident of this country and as a privileged member of the industry, I feel whatever is happening with the film at this point is unfair,” she said.
“Because when the film was shot, a year ago, the climate was nice. The current climate I know how it is, but it was good back then,” she told reporters here last night.
Actress Swara Bhaskar also slammed the recent development.
“Ban on #AeDilHaiMushkil good example of how cinema in India is vulnerable to all kinds of arbit rage & misguided passion of everyone…,” she tweeted.
“Instead of banning & boycotting films I wonder how many self proclaimed patriots make any real contribution benefiting our soldiers???” she said, rallying behind Johar and wished him all the best for the film.
“@karanjohar here’s wishing you strength! Keep calm & carry on all the way to box office #diwali I am going to take truckloads for #AeDilHaiMushkil,” she tweeted.
Kashyap’s film Udta Punjab had run into trouble recently after Modi supporter and the head of the Indian censor board, Pahlaj Nihalani ordered multiple cuts, which were described ridiculous by film critics.
The filmmaker had sought the Bombay High Court’s intervention, which ensured that Nihalani’s suggestions were rejected.
A Cinema Owners’ body has refused to screen movies starring Pakistani artistes in the four states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka and Goa, dealing a blow to Karan Johar’s upcoming Diwali blockbuster “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil” that features Fawad Khan.
The decision taken by the Cinema Owners Exhibitors Association of India (COEAI) at its meeting in Mumbai mainly covers single screen theatres and comes amid tension between India and Pakistan in the aftermath of Uri attack last month.
Uri attacks followed by surgical strike have sharply divided opinions in India with the BJP being accused to use the event to extract electoral mileage.
Hours after the Indian army had conducted surgical strikes posters bearing photos of Modi and his defence minister Manohar Parrikar had sprung up in poll-bound states of Goa and Uttar Pradesh.