Fanaa managed to reach in most multiplexes in the country barring the Inox group and Fun Cinemas. The hero Aamir Khan is upset that his film has taken a political turn thanks to his off screen activism – the Rang De Basanti effect rub off – leading to political parties like the BJP asking for Khan’s film to be boycotted by theatres in Gujarat.
Add to the fact that the box office collections of Fanaa would suffer due to the stand off between Yash Raj Films and some multiplex owners. Aamir met Businessofcinema.com to talk about this at a press conference.
You managed a rebellion in Gujarat… this time against you?
I am not an engineer, a social scientist or a social activist who is connected to an NGO. I seriously do not have any ideas as to what the height of the dam should be and what it shouldn’t be. But I do know that the Supreme Court has said that whichever poor villager has been displaced should be rehabilitated and provided relevant accommodation and should be given back his land. I am only reiterating what the Supreme Court has said.
Can the people of this country manage this?
The public is strong enough to make governments tumble. This is a democracy and the public can make things happen.
What do you want done now?
I only want the poor to be rehabilitated and given housing.
Do you think that you have angered the people of Gujarat?
I do not have any sort of affiliation with any political party in the country. I am not concerned with any of them. Political parties may be angry with me but the people of Gujarat aren’t.
I only have love for the people of Gujarat. I want that they should get more and more water. But I also want to tell them that there will be many people who will be submerged under water in their very Gujarat. I want them to be helped.
I want them to tell the government that we have chosen you and hence you should do everything to safeguard the interests of the people in this state and help people in trouble.
They feel that Aamir Khan is saying a lot of things that are not correct.
What wrong is Aamir saying? I want to tell the people of Gujarat that Fanaa is just another film. Whether the film releases or not it is small issue. It depends on them whether they want to watch Fanaa or not.
You managed another controversy again. Rang De Basanti had one, The Rising had one too.
I know. I am not very comfortable with controversies. I want to stay away from them. I am hurt because I want the people to watch the film and enjoy it. We have all worked very hard on the film. It is an entertainer. I am not the one who has picked up this issue. Someone else has. I am just responding.
Is the BJP targeting you because you are a Muslim?
I am an Indian. I am not a Muslim, Hindu, Christian or Sikh. I am only an Indian and I have talked on this issue by virtue of being one.
I do not think that I am being targeted because I am a Muslim. There are people from various religions who keep talking on various issues.
What made you actually raise your voice?
I feel that everyone should do their job. I am doing mine. I want the BJP to do their job and that the people of India should do theirs. The poor whose houses, farms, temples and schools have gone under water should be rehabilitated.
Will you apologize?
If the BJP or any other political party feels that I should be asking for an apology on this issue, I don’t want to apologize. Which political party in India says that they are fighting for the poor? And when I as a commoner am ready to stand up for the poor and raise my voice for them, why should anyone ask me to tender an apology. For what? For fighting for the rights of the poor?
Never. I shall never apologize.
Do you realize that your film may not be watched?
I will do what I think is right and what is true. If any political party feels that they are doing their job by getting my film yanked off the theatres, then they should do it. But it will make me sad if people are not able to watch Fanaa .
The people of Gujarat will not be able to watch Fanaa .
What do you feel about the ticket pricing at multiplexes?
As an artiste I want the ticket price to be as low as possible – be it at multiplexes or single screens. I want more and more people to watch my movies.
Do you want to say that multiplexes are charging exorbitant rates?
My personal view is that the multiplexes are charging very high rates, and I feel they should rethink it.
Also producers, theatre owners, the multiplex association and the distributors should sit together and work out a formula to ensure that people can watch movies at a reasonable price.