Amid the controversy to exclude Pakistani artists and actors from Indian cinema, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray on 1 October turned the heat on Bollywood actor Salman Khan and threatened to ban his movies if he continued supporting artistes from Islamabad.
"Jawans are fighting for us at borders. What'll happen if they decide to put down their weapons? Who'll guard the borders? Salman Khan? Bollywood? These artists (Salman Khan) should realise 'Nation first'. If they have so many problems, we will ban their movies too," Thackeray said.
Further escalating his attack on Khan, Thackeray said:
"It is nothing but business to them. Are we short of artists? They say art doesn't have boundary. When Tamil Nadu and Karnataka protest over Cauvery water, Tamil artistes came on the road including Rajnikanth. When they can stand for the rights of their states, why can't these artists stand for the country?"
The MNS chief asserted that it is important to stand united amid such adversities.
"In a country with 1.26 billion population, you can't find talent? You have to borrow it from Pakistan? Who are they? Do they have any respect in their own country?" he added.
Earlier, speaking at an event in Delhi on 30 September, Khan had said, "They are artists, not terrorists. It's the government who gives them work permits and visas. Art and terrorism should not be mixed."
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Meanwhile, Shiv Sena leader Manisha Kayande told ANI on 1 October that Salman Khan needs to be taught a lesson for his statement.
"If he has so much love for Pakistani artists, he should migrate there," she added.
Last week, Raj Thackeray-led MNS issued a 48-hour ultimatum to Pakistani artistes and actors, following which Fawad Khan left India on 27 September.