The compromise was hammered out Saturday morning at a meeting involving Thackeray, Johar and producers’ guild president Mukesh Bhatt at Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis’ residence.
The meeting was convened by Fadnavis a day after he met union home minister Rajnath Singh. The film producers had met Singh in New Delhi on Thursday seeking his intervention for release of the film Mumbai.
The MNS is among outfits that had threatened to vandalise cinemas and block the film as it stars Pakistani actor Fawad Khan.
The deadlock has been resolved only after the producers accepted Thackeray three major demands.
“Every producer who has cast a Pakistani actor must contribute Rs 5 crore to the Army welfare fund,” Thackeray said after the meeting.
That sum is a ‘penance’ for producers for engaging Pakistani actors. Producers will also show a slide as a tribute to Indian soldiers who laid down their lives for the nation before the film begins.
Thackeray also extracted another major demand – that of a ban on Pakistani artistes.
“The Film Producers Guild of India has agreed to give us in writing that no Pakistani artists including actors, singers, technicians will be employed in India films,” the MNS chief said.
He claimed the development as victory of his party’s agitation against Pakistani artistes. He said that the ban on the artistes will come into force with immediate effect and the producers with the under production films will have to pay the donation as ‘penance’ for engaging the Pakistani artistes.
Claiming victory for the MNS agitation, Thackeray said: “We have always protested against Pakistani artistes but Bollywood never understood earlier. Now they have realised.”
Film producers’ guild of India’s president Mukesh Bhatt told reporters after the meeting that the deadlock over the film has been resolved and the film will be released as scheduled on October 28.
He said we have decided to not engage any Pakistani artiste in our films in future. Besides, we have decided to contribute a certain amount to the army welfare fund. The fund will be handed over to defence minister Manohar Parrikar irrespective of the film making profit or loss. Karan Johar has also announced to put up a slide honouring and paying tribute to the martyrs of Indian armed forces during the screening of the film. The slide will be displayed even before the tribute to Johar’s late father and producer Yash Johar,” Bhatt said.