Fact Check: Did Army reject Karan Johar's Rs. 5 cr donation for casting Pak actor?

A certain section of social media users has been running a boycott campaign against'Brahmastra'.

By Md Mahfooz Alam  Published on  9 Sep 2022 10:11 AM GMT
Fact Check: Did Army reject Karan Johars Rs. 5 cr donation for casting Pak actor?

Hyderabad: 'Brahmastra', starring Alia Bhatt and Ranbir Kapoor and produced by Karan Johar, is out in the theatres. The Aryan Mukherjee directorial is reportedly the most expensive film in Bollywood. However, the film has been facing the ire of the public since the release of the trailer in June which shows lead actor Ranbir Kapoor entering a temple in slippers.

A certain section of social media users has been running a boycott campaign against the film. Recently, Alia and Ranbir had to call off their visit to Mahakaleshwar Temple for the Sandhya Aarti after a protest was staged outside the Ujjain Temple against 'Brahmastra'.

Against this backdrop, a screengrab of an article purportedly from the entertainment website koimoi.com is doing the rounds of social media platforms. The article is titled "When Karan Johar's 5 Crore Donation Was Rejected By Indian Army For Letting Pakistani Actor Fawad Khan Work In Ae Dil Hai Mushkil [Reports]."

A Facebook page posted the screengrab of the article accompanied by the text "If Indian army can boycott Bollywood why can't we?"

Fact Check

NewsMeter ran a keyword search to find Koimoi's article and found an article published by the website with an identical title dated 17 June 2022. The website reports, "Back in 2016, Karan Johar reportedly offered to pay a hefty fine of Rs. 5 crore for casting Pakistani actor Fawad Khan in his directorial Ae Dil Hai Mushkil as it was announced by MNS chief Raj Thackeray that Indian filmmakers will not cast actors from across the border. Also, reports were abuzz that the Indian Army too had refused to accept donations from Johar asking him to avoid involving the soldiers in the local politics."

Except for the title, the article nowhere mentions that the Army refused to take donations from Karan Johan because the filmmaker had cast Fawad Khan in his film.

The above-quoted report by the entertainment website clearly states after the Uri attack in 2016, it was the MNS chief Raj Thackeray who wanted Johar to pay a fine of Rs. 5 crores to the Indian Army for casting Fawad Khan in his film "Ae Dil Hai Mushkil." The Army declined the money due to the involvement of "politics." Therefore, the title of the article is misleading.

Taking these cues, we again ran a keyword search and found an article published by the NDTV dated 24 October 2016. The news channel reported that after the Uri attack in which 19 soldiers were killed, a section of filmmakers and politicians wanted a ban on Pakistani artists from working in Bollywood.

Raj Thackeray's Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) was one of the groups that had threatened to block the release of "Ae Dil Hai Mushkil" starring Ranbir Kapoor, Anushka Sharma, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, and Fawad Khan.

Following a meeting with then Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Raj Thackeray, Johar offered to pay a donation of Rs. 5 crores to the military welfare fund but the donation was not accepted as it was a "coerced donation," sources in the Defence Ministry had informed NDTV.

The channel also reported that the "ministry is working on new rules that will ban "coerced donations." Officials say such a contribution is against the very spirit of the gesture."

It is evident that the donation of Karan Johan was not accepted by the Army because it was a donation forced by political outfits. Hence, the claim of the Army refusing donations from the filmmaker for casting Fawad Khan in Ae Dil Hai Mushkil is misleading.

Claim Review:Did Army reject Karan Johar’s Rs. 5 cr donation for casting Pak actor?
Claimed By:Social Media users
Claim Reviewed By:NewsMeter
Claim Source:Social Media
Claim Fact Check:Misleading
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