18 October, Mumbai
The Congress on Tuesday backed film maker Anurag Kashyap’s comment against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Prime Minister Narendra Modi must answer the former’s questions.
Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam claimed people in India hate Pakistan and in present times, when the activities of Islamabad had aggravated this hatred, Prime Minister Modi should at least clarify his stand.
“The Bharatiya Janata Party and Prime Minister Modi will have to answer the questions raised by Anurag Kashyap. People in India hate Pakistan, even I hate Pakistan. And, the activities of Pakistan by its sponsored terrorist group, the hatred for Pakistan only increases,” said Nirupam.
“In current times, the whole nation wants revenge against Pakistan. This thought came up that Pakistani artists should not be allowed to work here, but then a second question came up, as to who is answerable for this crime? I don’t say apologise, but the Prime Minister should at least give a clarification,” he added.
Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju on Monday asserted that such “undesirable statements” are not good for the country.
Speaking to the media here, Rijiju said “I don’t want to comment and give due importance to such undesirable statements which are not good for the country. We should not react and give importance to such statements which serve the purpose of diverting attention from the real issues at hand”.
However, in a clear message to Anurag Kashyap, Rijiju said the Prime Minister is a respected figure and people should think carefully before commenting on or about him.
Earlier, Rijiju had taken a harsher stand on the director’s statement, saying that questioning the Prime Minister has become a new trend.
“A new fashion has developed in India. A student or a film person can put a question or speak against the PM without any logic to get into the news. In a democratic India, one can ask questions of a PM or comment freely, but it would be better if it is with sense and without undermining our nation’s prestige,” Rijiju said in a series of tweets.
Shiv Sena leader Manisha Kayande said, “Today, the entire country is against Pakistan. Even the Theatre Owner’s Association, many of the top most actors like Ajay Devgn has also supported the army and India’s stand. So, why is Anurag Kashyap being different? Is he beyond all boundaries of the country?”
Kashyap had earlier come out in support of Karan Johar, whose upcoming directorial venture ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil featuring Pakistani actor Fawad Khan’ is facing trouble after the cinema owners association decided to stall the release of movies starring Pakistani artistes.
In a series of tweets, Anurag Kashyap questioned Prime Minister Modi as to why he hasn’t apologised for his December 25, 2015 meeting his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif at the same time when Karan Johar was shooting for ‘ADHM.’
He tweeted, “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?”
“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 tweeted.
After posting these tweets, Kashyap did some damage control by saying, “@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..”
The Cinema Owners Exhibitors Association of India (COEAI) last week announced that they would not screen movies starring Pakistani artistes in the four states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka and Goa.
This has put an uncertainty on the release of “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil” as it features Pakistani heartthrob Fawad Khan. The movie stars Ranbir Kapoor, Anushka Sharma and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in lead roles.
The decision taken by COEAI mainly covers single screen theatres and comes amid tension between India and Pakistan in the aftermath of Uri attack last month.