In an interview to an English newspaper Twinkle Khanna slammed Raj Thackeray for ‘extorting’ money from Karan Johar for the Army Welfare Fund.
The conditions that were placed by Raj Thackeray before the Producers Guild in return for allowing the release of Karan Johar’s movie ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ were –
- No Pakistani actors would be allowed to work in their movies in the future
- A slideshow/proper mention of the martyrs of the Uri Attack before the beginning of the movie &
- A contribution of 5 crore to the Army Welfare Fund
The first two conditions are appropriate. The people of this country don’t want to entertain any Pakistani actors especially when they can’t even condemn the terror emanating from their own soil which is killing our soldiers & people. As far as the mention of our martyrs goes, it is a necessary gesture. We mustn’t forget that there are people giving their lives for our leisure & safety. But the third condition is what has made news.
Twinkle Khanna said that the way Raj Thackeray had kept the release of the movie at ransom was totally inappropriate. She also said that contributions to the Army Welfare Fund must be made on a voluntary basis & not in a forceful environment.
This stand taken by Twinkle Khanna is correct. The manner in which the army was made the focal point of the meeting & the demand to contribute to the fund was made was wrong. It belittled the institution of our army by putting a price on our soldiers’ sacrifices. I’m not defending producers like Karan Johar & Mukesh Bhatt who stand behind Pakistani actors; they deserve to be shown that the national sentiment & the sacrifices of our soldiers is supreme & much above their petty monetary interests. But no one can use the army as a medium to further his own nationalistic image like Raj Thackeray has done.
Irrespective of what actors & politicians say, the most important opinion on this matter is of the soldiers & their families. Numerous army officials, defence experts, & even wives of our martyrs have outrightly rejected accepting this contribution terming it as a ‘charity’. They say that the army does not want money; it is happy with what it gets; & such actions demean the significance of the pious institution that the armed forces is. For our soldiers, safeguarding our land & its people was, is & will always remain paramount, & money definitely is the last of their priorities.