Definitely No Film On Indo-Pak Peace With Fawad Khan

A livid Shyam Benegal tells that he is not motivated for such a subject, and the news doing the rounds since morning is complete hogwash

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Definitely No Film On Indo-Pak Peace With Fawad Khan
"Why would I make a film to promote Indo-Pak peace?" Shyam Benegal laughed (and mind you, he laughs rarely) when called him up to get more details on his so-called Fawad Khan film with a certain Harsh Narayan who's obviously hankering for publicity since a long time and eventually made headlines this morning.

No? Then who's this Harsh Narayan or whatever his name is, we asked? Of course, we had googled before calling up Benegal, and the only time Harsh Narayan popped up was with reference to the Shyam Benegal 'story'. Said Benegal, "He is a young man who is a bit too persistent and has used my name as a producer for his film which I am definitely NOT producing."

Huh? Then how did this news come out? Said Benegal matter-of-factly, "The news has only come out because of an idiot called Harsh Narayan," and then added with a pause, "I had met him in the past."

Shyam Benegal.jpg
 Image Source: vk

And then? "He asked me to produce his film and I categorically told him that his subject is of NO interest to me. Later, he told me that he wanted to associate my name with his film to raise funds. I surely didn't expect that just these kind of conversations with him would boomerang on me so badly. I am extremely upset with him."

Has he called up Harsh Narayan after reading his publicity stunt, we prodded further? "Of course I did, and I asked him that how could he go around talking nonsense. I have told him to come out and clarify but he still hasn't."

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Image Source: fashioncentral 

Added Benegal, "I make films with subjects which interest me and I write their initial scripts as well. When somebody brings a script to me, I normally say 'No'. But here's a young man (Harsh Narayan) who is dying to make a particular film, and this is how he uses my goodwill to having merely spoken to him? I could understand if he wanted to involve me for mere consultancy to help him out, but I had clearly told him that I don't want to be professionally associated with his film in any capacity. What's his logic?"

Really Mr Benegal, there's no logic. In fact, how insensitive! Someone out there (Harsh Narayan) is trying to strike while the iron is hot even if it might tantamount to showing the soldiers of his country dying on the border for his protection and welfare!! We are definitely not saying that a film cannot depict the Uri attacks, but is there a need to throw it on the big screen so soon?

According to Harsh Narayan, "At the moment, Fawad is skeptical to reactions about him working in an Indo-Pak co-production. He has shown a keen interest and will respond as soon as the present situation cools down." Of late, Fawad has been in hot waters after MNS (Maharashtra Navnirman Sena) strongly protested to his presence in Karan Johar's forthcoming Ae Dil Hai Mushkil which also stars Ranbir Kapoor, Aishwarya Rai and Anushka Sharma.

Not so long ago, Benegal had spoken on the Pakistani artistes ban, saying: "We have a problem with their (Pakistan) government, what has that got to do with individuals? They have been invited here, either the production company says 'alright I don't want you, you can go back', that's fine. But you should not make them responsible for what their government is doing on the border. There may be problems between the governments but it's not that we're against the people of Pakistan. Or that the people of Pakistan are against the people of India." Is Harsh Narayan's over enthusiasm stemming from this comment, we asked?

"Yeh baat kahaan se kahaan chali gayi hai? May I say it aloud that I am NOT motivated to make a film to promote Indo-Pak peace," Benegal signed off.

Thumbnail Image Source: parhlo