'My spine is whatever it is, weak or strong, it is only for my film and nothing else.'
Opening up about the allegations levelled against him by writer Apurva Asrani, Simran director Hansal Mehta says he is not bothered by name calling on social media by someone desperate to seek attention and gain sympathy.
Asrani alleged that the film's actress, Kangana Ranaut, who has been credited as 'additional dialogue and story writer', tried to discredit his work by saying she developed the story with Mehta from a one-line script.
Without taking any names Mehta said he will continue to credit people who work to improve his films.
'Yes I am guilty. Guilty of crediting individuals who contribute to making my films very special to many of us,' Mehta tweeted last week.
'Call me names, as many names as you want. But in your desperation to seek attention and gain sympathy do not try to harm my film,' said the director about his writing partner on films like Shahid and Aligarh.
Alluding to Asrani's comment that Mehta should show some spine and clear the air over the controversy, the director wrote, 'My spine is whatever it is, weak or strong, it is only for my film and nothing else. If I chose not to speak, it is for my film.'
'And when I do speak it will only be in the service of my film -- not driven by any blackmail or any noise on social media where dignity is perceived as weakness and conversation is replaced by allegation.'
Mehta said he did not owe any explanation to anyone except to those who were genuine stakeholders in his film.
Asrani responded on Twitter saying, 'If only he mentioned "the truth" as many times as he has mentioned 'MY film', he wouldn't have found himself in this degrading situation.'
The credit row took an ugly turn with Asrani claiming he was arm-twisted into giving in Kangana's demand, an allegation denied by the film's producer Shailesh Singh who said Asrani was creating a ruckus for publicity.
Meanwhile, another writer, Sameer Gautam, has accused Asrani of stealing credits for Shahid though he praised Mehta for being concerned about that.
IMAGE: Director Hansal Mehta, right, with actress Kangana Ranaut who plays Simran.