Karan Johar"s former assistant and associate Nikhil Advani is caught in a huge dilemma. Seeing the trouble that has been created by Shahrukh Khan"s innocuous patently apolitical statement that Pakistan players should not be precluded from the IPL package, Nikhil, whose underproduction film Patiala House has cricket at its backdrop, wonders if the inclusion of Pakistani cricketers as planned, makes any political and business sense.
Says a source close to Patiala House, “On one hand, Nikhil is being advised to drop the proposed Pakistani cricket players from his film. On the other hand, Nikhil feels dropping the players from across the border from his film would be tantamount to playing into the hands that caused all these unwanted problems for Karan Johar. If Nikhil succumbs to pressures to drop the Pakistani cricketers who are to shoot with Akshay Kumar, he feels he"d be letting down his mentor Karan."
The dilemma is pretty much solved in Nikhil"s mind. Now he needs to carry along with the financiers and distributors of Patiala House.
Says Nikhil, “Basically we need to see which way the IPL matches go. As far as cricket in India is concerned the IPL matches determine the stakes. Having said that, let me state I"ve no intentions of changing my mind about the inclusion of Pakistani cricketers in my film, just because of the trouble that has happened."
In fact the agitation against Shahrukh Khan"s statement has made Nikhil more determined than ever to not change his plans. However he admits there"re tremendous pressures on him to change plans of Pakistani inclusion in the film.
Says Nikhil, “As of now, the Pakistani cricket players, are in my film. We"re in the process of drawing up a list of who are included."
The director who was an apprentice under Karan Johar says he has been in touch with Karan all through his troubles with the Shiv Sena.
Says Nikhil, “I sent Karan a long sms saying I"m with him. I don"t think politics and cinema should be mixed. As far as I"m concerned the players from Pakistan are most welcome in my film."