Ajay Devgn’s “Shivaay” and Karan Johar’s “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil” are set to release at the box office this Diwali. But before the epic clash, it appears that the two directors are involved in a tug of war to rule the hearts of Twitterati and Facebook users through none other self-proclaimed critic Kamaal Rashid Khan.
Putting a sensational accusation, Devgn released a recorded conversation on Thursday that is allegedly between his business partner Kumar Mangat and Kamaal Rashid Khan. A voice that allegedly belonged to Khan in the audio tape can be heard saying that he promoted Karan Johar’s “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil” because he was paid Rs 25 lakh by the filmmaker.
Demanding a legal probe into the matter, Ajay issued a statement: “I have been a part of the Indian film industry for the past 25 years and have been associated with over 100 films. My father was a professional action director and I have an emotional connection with this industry. It therefore pains me to see that people like Kamaal R Khan are holding the film industry to ransom by spreading negativity about films to extort money from producers. It is very sad that people from our own industry are supporting such elements and spoiling the ethos of the film industry. I would strongly demand that this be thoroughly investigated by competent authorities to clarify if Karan Johar was indeed involved in this.”
Hear what self proclaimed no. 1 critic and trade analyst Kamaal R Khan has to say. https://t.co/wRc7moSlsZ
— Ajay Devgn (@ajaydevgn) September 1, 2016
KRK (whose contribution to Indian film industry is next to nothing except two box office bombs—Deshdrohi and Ek Villain) has denied all accusations and alleged that Ajay Devgn offered him money to slam Karan’s “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil.”
Over a text message to Indian Express, KRK justified his stand as he wrote: “Kumar Mangat is my close friend. We both produced films like Aatma and Alone. Please listen to the tape properly. He called me to complain that I said bad about Shivaay and I said that nothing like that. He was complaining again and again that I am praising Ae Dil Hai Mushkil while other critics have said bad about it. Still I said that no I am not supporting Karan. But Kumar Mangat was still complaining that I am favouring Karan when I am Kumar’s friend. So to close the topic and avoid Kumar Mangat I said that I am favouring Karan because he paid me 25 lakhs. But Karan has not paid me anything. Please note we both were talking about favouring on Twitter only, not about reviews. Nobody can buy my review, whoever is he. Kumar Mangat Ne Dost Hokar Dhoka Diya hai, recording Ki Hai Jo Dosti Main Nahi Karni Chahiye. It shows that he is a bad person n worst friend (sic).”
Now, who is speaking the truth only time will tell, but what we know is this war will definitely get murkier with more allegations and counter-attacks.
Of course, this is not the first time Ajay Devgn is involved in such a battle. We all remember Ajay’s “Son of Sardar” clashed with Shah Rukh’s “Jab Tak hai Jaan” in 2012 around the same time of the year. And we know “Son of Sardar” did not do as well as Yash Chopra’s last directorial JTHJ.
As in the previous battle with JTHJ, Ajay Devgn’s wife Kajol had to bear the brunt as she once belonged to Yash Raj Films’ camp (remember the classic DDLJ). Even in this battle between Ajay and Karan, she will be the one who will targeted most as she has been closed friends with the latter and worked as the leading actress in most his films.