'I abide by the Constitution.'
'Raj Thackeray does not.'
'His patriotism should be up for questioning.'
The ceaselessly forthright and politically unaffiliated Shabana Azmi is highly disappointed by the deal that Karan Johar seems to have struck with Maharashtra Navnirman Sena leader Raj Thackeray for the smooth release of his film, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil.
"Ae Dil Hai Mushkil has been passed by the Censor Board. Home Minister Rajnath Singh promised safe passage for the film's release. The matter should have ended there," says Azmi.
"The role of the Maharashtra chief minister was clear," says Azmi. "He just had to ensure that law and order is enforced. Instead he broke a deal between the producers and Raj Thackeray who places a price of 5 crores for the display of patriotism."
She does not spare those who participated in the negotiations.
"What a shameful state of affairs and such a blatant expression of doublespeak," she says.
Azmi feels the Bharatiya Janata Party should demand an explanation from Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis for disrespecting the Union home minister's assurance.
Expressing shock over how the MNS was allowed to muscle into Karan Johar's film release, the actress-activist lashes out, saying,"Is Raj Thackeray going to decide whether I am patriotic or not? I abide by the Constitution. Raj Thackeray does not. His patriotism should be up for questioning."