Well, I guess if you give people everything they want, they will give you the one small thing you ask for in return.
Mahesh Bhatt brought Karan along and had a meeting with Raj Thackeray directly to hammer out an accord. You know, it is just now hitting me that Mahesh is Alia’s father! So he could be extra committed to helping Karan out, because of Karan’s position as Alia’s mentor, and Alia’s tiny cameo on ADHM.
I don’t think he is though. I think Mahesh takes his responsibility as the head of IFTPA seriously, and more generally I think he cares about the future of the film industry. It’s more like, Mahesh raised Alia in an artistic household that cared about breaking the rules and experimenting with new art. And therefore, she was the kind of confident and free-thinking young actress that Karan wanted to work with.
Oh right, this story! So, Mahesh and Karan and Raj have an agreement. Mahesh, on behalf of the IFTPA, committed to no more actors from Pakistan. Ouch! That must have hurt him to admit. Although, at this point it’s kind of moot, since I am sure there will be no Visas available, or willingness to come to India from the actors, for the next several months/years. And if it ever reaches a point where work Visas are available and they are willing, then the IFTPA could probably drop this ban without anyone caring.
For the films that currently have Pakistani actors working on them, including ADHM and Raees, Mahesh pledged that 5 crore will be donated to the Army Welfare Fund by the producers. And for ADHM, before the plaque in honor of his father at the start of the film, Karan will place a plaque in honor of the Uri victims.
I suppose it’s not really that bad. The Army Welfare Fund is a good cause, good for them to get the money. And, like I said, the Pakistani artists ban is kind of a meaningless gesture at the moment. But something about the Uri victims plaque that really burns me a little.
It’s not the idea of putting the plaque in at all, there’s a long tradition of that (Have you seen the massive Sanjay Gandhi tribute at the beginning of Qurbani?). It’s the insisting on putting it before Karan’s tribute plaque to his father. It feels petty. And it feels like it is saying that Karan doesn’t have the right to mourn his father more than the Uri soldiers. Like he had to prove his Indian identity is greater than any personal identity, even his identity as a son.
(You don’t have to watch the whole movie, although you won’t regret it if you do, but if you hit play, the Sanjay Gandhi tribute starts up right away)
Ultimately though, all of these sacrifices worked. MNS felt like they had the victory they wanted, and have graciously agreed to let the film release with no objections. Yaaaaaaaaaaay!
But the single-screen theater association is still banning it. Boooooo! So, this either means that they are still worried about non-MNS people destroying their theaters if they play the film. Or, my post from earlier nailed it, and this whole ban is just about punishing the distribution company of this film for its scuzzy business practices, and using the political situation as a cover.