Says Prakash Jha, “I’m hundred percent with Ajay on this issue not only because he’s a friend but because I know he’s fighting a valid battle against a trade monopoly that exists. Those in the industry who want to sentimentalize the issue are only burying their heads in the sand hiding away from the truth.”
Speaking out loud for the first time Prakash, who has worked extensively with Devgn in the past and is all set to start his new film Satyagrah with Devgn in the lead, expresses disgust at what he calls the alleged monopolistic practices of Yash Raj.
Says Jha, “With due respects to Mr Yash Chopra whom we all have the highest regard for, this kind of thing has to stop. Does Ajay Devgn seem like the kind of guy who would raise such an issue unless he was sure of his facts? I’m a hundred percent behind Ajay because I’ve been a victim of the monopoly.”
Says Prakash, “Why should Ajay allow his film to suffer because of this monopoly? Son Of Sardaar is not a small film. Please understand, Ajay’s fight doesn’t concern the multiplex chain of theatres. It is the single screen theatres which still account for 30 percent of our total revenues that have been pressurized into such a monopolistic commitment during the release of Ek Tha Tiger. Agreed Eid is synonymous with Salman. So flooding theatres with Ek Tha Tiger during Eid made some sense. But why should only Jab Tak Hai Jaan get a major portion of the theatres during Diwali when there is enough room for two releases especially when the other release happens to be a big Ajay Devgn project? Yeh kya baat hui? Eid bhi hamara, Diwali bhi hamara. So what are other filmmakers supposed to do? Wait in the line?”
In his fight against what he believes to be a monopolistic trade practice of Yash Raj Films Ajay Devgn is not alone. Filmmaker Prakash Jha, a long-standing friend of Devgn, has pitched in vocally with Ajay, going as far as to say he’s willing to take on the various film guilds and associations in Bollywood in Devgn’s fight against Yash Raj’s alleged monopoly.