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India's ruling party, filmmaker at loggerheads over boycott of film

The verbal duel sparked off following the boycott of a film named 'Ae Dil Hai Mushkil', which features Pakistani actor Fawad Khan. Photograph: (AFP)

Mumbai, India Oct 16, 2016, 04.45 PM (IST)

Filmmaker Anurag Kashyap and India's ruling party Bharatiya Janata Party have been at each other's throat over the boycott of a film featuring an actor from Pakistan.

A day after film 'Ae Dil Hai Mushkil' was banned in four Indian states by an exhibitors' association, Kashyap said that by the same logic Prime Minister Narendra Modi should also apologise for his impromptu meeting with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif on December 25, 2015, since it was the same day when the boycotted movie was being filmed as well.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) retaliated by condemning Kashyap, saying that such comments were harming the country as the government has been trying to "isolate Pakistan".   

"Making these statements when the Prime Minister and the government are isolating Pakistan doesn't go with the national mood. Somewhere I feel that pride of the nation is missing and pride of a movie has taken over Anurag Kashyap," BJP leader Siddharth Nath Singh said.

Kashyap took to Twitter again to defend himself. He also took a swipe at the "blind fanatics" who stop others from having a conversation with the prime minister.

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Kashyap also urged the prime minister to offer the film industry more "protection" since it has always been a soft target. 

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The 44-year-old filmamker, who has made critically acclaimed movies such as Dev D and Gangs of Wasseypur, also questioned the nature of democracy if people were not allowed to pose uncomfortable questions to the government.

The movie 'Ae Dil Hai Mushkil' was banned following strident calls from nationalist political parties in India. 

The political outfits demanded that no movie starring Pakistani artistes should be released following the Uri attack on an army installation in Kashmir, which left 19 soldiers dead.

India has claimed that the perpetrators, four in total, were supported by Pakistan and have since then tried to put diplomatic pressure on their neighbours.

(WION with inputs from agencies)

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