In the row of ‘ban on Pakistani artistes’ across the country, Bollywood actor Ajay Devgn came out in support of the ban on Saturday and said he would not ‘share screen space’ with any Pakistani artiste as of now.
The 47-year-old actor, whose film Shivaay is pitted against Karan Johar’s Ae Dil Hai Mushkil at the box office later this month, said he was not worried about its release in Pakistan.
“This is the time to stand by the nation,” Devgn said.
Pakistani actor Fawad Khan has a a special role in Karan Johar’s Ae Dil Hai Mushkil. When asked if he will share screen or any artistic space with any Pakistani artiste, Devgn said, “Not at the moment. I am very clear on this because I am an Indian first. I don’t care if my film doesn’t release in Pakistan. Their artistes are standing by their nation. They are earning here but are sticking by their nation. We should learn from them.”
Meanwhile, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena had given an ultimatum to Pakistani actors to leave India and also asked for a ban on them working in Bollywood in the wake of the Uri terror attack on September 18.
The organisation has also threatened to stall the release of Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and Shah Rukh Khan’s Raees, starring Pakistani actress Mahira Khan.
Moreover, the Indian Motion Picture Producers Association (IMPPA) has also passed a motion to ban artistes from across the border till Indo-Pak relations are normalised.
In a recent interview with CCN-News 18, Ajay said, while he understands one should not compare artistes with terrorists, when the ties between India and Pakistan are strained, it is ‘not possible to talk about exchange of art and culture’.
“There is an exchange of bullets happening and you are talking about exchange of culture? We cannot isolate ourselves from the nation.”
In a different opinion, Bollywood superstar Salman Khan and director Karan Johar said banning Pakistani artistes from working in Bollywood was not a solution, but there are many in the industry who have supported such a move in the wake of rising tension between the two countries.
When asked about his take on Salman’s and Karan’s comments on the matter, Ajay said, “It’s saddening. You need to take a stand.”
Soon after the interview, Devgn’s actress-wife Kajol heaped praise on him by tweeting, “So proud of my husband for taking a non-political and correct stand.”