Mukesh Ambani
Mukesh Ambani says nation comes first and then arts and culture.(Representational Image)Reuters File

Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani on Monday said that the nation should come first and not arts and culture while addressing the debate on banning of Pakistan artistes in India.

The billionaire's comments were delivered when he was answering questions from the audience at the 'Off the Cuff' show organised by The Print, a digital media outfit owned by senior journalists Shekhar Gupta and Barkha Dutt.

"I am absolutely clear about one thing – that for me it is always country first. I am not an intellectual so I don't understand all these. But undoubtedly like for all Indians, India is first for me," Ambani had said.

In midst of the ongoing tension, organizers of Mumbai International Film Festival have been told to drop Pakistani film "Jago Hua Savera" citing the threat of protests at its screening as the reason. The step was taken after city-based organisation, Sangharsh, threatened to stage protests at the screening of the movie made in 1958.

Raj Thackeray's Maharashtra Navnirman Sena also said today that they will intensify its opposition against Karan Johar's upcoming film "Ae Dil Hai Mushkil" as it features Pakistani actor Fawad Khan, all the while also issuing a veiled threat of vandalism to the multiplexes if they screened it.

Most recently, Priyanka Chopra had come out in support of Pakistan artistes calling the ban 'unfair'. Alia Bhatt and Anurag Kashyap also expressed solidarity and hit out at the ban after Cinema Owners and Exhibitors Association of India on Friday declared that it will not be screening the film.

Anurag Kashyap was also trolled after he tweeted at Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday, asking the prime minister to apologise for his visit to Pakistan.