Dear Karan Johar,
I believe congratulations are in order, I do not think that you would have ever imagined a day where you would receive congratulatory message not for your film’s success but its release.
It is a sad day for our Nation that patriotism and Nationalism has to come to this, it is sad that you had to prove your “Indian-ness” by declaring that you would not be working with any Pakistani artist henceforth.
It is sad that you had to accept “without any pressure” the conditions laid forward to enable the release of the film. I am glad that senior Army officers & Veterans have dismissed this attempt to politicize & use the army for political gains, yet this was not the first time and it won’t be perhaps the last time that this has happened.
I am not sure why I feel compelled to write to you, perhaps driven by this deep sadness and disconcertment that I feel today. Has it really come down to this, that our patriotism will be judged by our opinion of Fawad Khan and whether we want to see him on an Indian Screen or not.
Having grown up in an era when cricket was about Kapil Dev versus Imran Khan, we idolized Kapil Dev, but I must admit I was a big admirer of Imran Khan as well, should I now declare my dislike for him as a cricketer to prove my nationalism, should I tell my teenage daughter to take Fawad Khan of her favourite list because she is an Indian and Nation comes first, should I pat my son’s back and tell him how proud I am of him as he does not share his sister’s opinion on Fawad Khan.
I hope I speak for that “silent majority” that goes about their daily routine of eking out their livelihood and in between when they pause to take a break and switch on the TV or pick up the paper or perhaps go online and watch/read the daily dose of hatred/intolerance being spewed, we feel for you and for our country too, we do wish we could extend our support in a more meaningful way and make our presence felt.
We are so caught up in our daily lives, taking care of our families and struggling to provide that we are unable to do much more than feel sad, helpless and give out a silent prayer that things will improve.
You took a stand when in an interview with a TV channel you made a distinction between terrorism and art but you had to give in and change your position, I can understand why you did it but it is this very understanding and acceptance of the situation that I find disturbing. When will the patience and acceptance of the “silent majority” wear off.
When we go the theater to watch the movie we will judge you on your directorial skills and not on your nationalism. In a year or two the release of Ae dil hai mushkil and the surrounding drama may perhaps become a footnote in the history of movies and our great nation but in many Indian minds & hearts it will reverberate for a long time.
As I write this I can’t help but pause and think am I in anyway less Indian, less patriotic than perhaps somebody who chooses not to watch your film, am I compromising my nationalism by declaring that I am looking forward to the release of Ae dil Hai mushkil.
By Nuveira Hasan