Senior Army officials and veterans were upset over the force being dragged into politics over films after the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena or MNS demanded that producers of movies employing Pakistani actors pay Rs. 5 core to an army welfare fund.
The controversy erupted after Karan Johar’s Ae Dil Hai Mushkil ran into a storm of protests led by MNS because Pakistani actor Fawad Khan has a role in it.
The film has been “allowed” to be released after its producers met with three conditions put forward by MNS chief Raj Thackeray, including payment of Rs. 5 crore to army welfare fund.
“All contributions (to welfare fund) are to be voluntary. Extortion is not allowed. We would want people to contribute on their own rather than under any coercion,” a senior army official said today. He said the army is “upset” over being dragged into this politics.
“The army is completely apolitical. It is wrong to drag the force into politics,” another army official said.
Twitter was already abuzz with reactions on the ADHM row and further erupted with the MNS Demands and the acceptance of the same during the meeting at the CM House which gave it an official twist. Zoom TV came out with the following:
— Zoom TV (@ZoomTV) October 23, 2016
There were many others including political parties that took this issue up and started directing potshots at the government. However veterans were still humble and to the point in taking up the issue.
Ex Squadron Leader R Husain tweeted a logical one on the ADHM issue:
There r zillion ways people & orgns can shower love, respect & help soldiers. But an 'ETHICAL NO' to politicising Army & Forced Donations
— Sqn Ldr Husain (@SqnLdrHusain) October 23, 2016
However there were still others like Lt.Gen (Retd) BS Jaiswal who felt strongly on the MNS – ADHM controversy and said on TV, “This is a wrong precedent, Army should not be dragged into politics.”
Army sources said that they have a system in place to check all contributions and can even reject a contribution made under duress or by any person whom the force does not want to be associated with.
On the other hand, amidst all the tumultuous controversies, ADHM (Ae Dil Hai Mushkil) seems to have been enough publicised and is slated to be a super hit at the box office.