Filmmaker Anurag Kashyap on Sunday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi why he hadn't issued a public apology for visiting Pakistan in December 2015, the "same time Karan Johar was shooting Ae Dil Hai Mushkil", the release of which is uncertain. Kashyap's string of tweets is being viewed as a reaction to the debate surrounding a probable ban on films that involving Pakistani actors and musicians in the wake of the escalating tension between the two neighbouring countries in the recent past.
Kashyap's tweet said, "I complain because I expect my government to protect us, I question the PM because I have every right to." He said, "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." Kashyap said filmmakers are in need of protection. He said, "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."
On October 14, the Cinema Owners and Exhibitors Association of India (COEAI) announced that its members would not screen movies featuring Pakistani singers or musicians in single-screen theatres in Gujarat, Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra. The development affects the release of Pakistani actor Fawad Khan-starrer Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, which releases on October 28, and Shah Rukh Khan's upcoming film Raees that features Pakstan's Mahira Khan.
The COEAI's move follows the Indian Motion Pictures Producers Association's ban on Pakistani actors and technicians working on projects in India. The decision was made amid heightened tension between India and Pakistan following the militant attack on the Indian Army camp in Kashmir's Uri sector. Hours after the strike, Raj Thackeray's Maharashtra Navnirman Sena said Pakistani actors had 48 hours to leave the country.
Several members of the film industry, including Salman Khan, Om Puri, Radhika Apte and Karan Johar, have expressed their dismay over the call to ban Pakistani actors in India. Kashyap's comments attracted reactions from several members of the film fraternity.
Filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar said Kashyap's comments were "wrong". Bhandarkar said the government had not issued a ban and that it had become a "trend to protest agnst Modiji." Film exhibitor Akshaye Rathi slammed Kashyap on Twitter for "lashing out at the prime minister" and accused him of seeking "free publicity".