I always wonder why Pakistani artists are so desperate to work in Bollywood movies when our own cinema has started doing wonders and has given its nation block busters like Waar, Bin Roye, Ho Mann Jahan and many more that were praised not only by the Pakistani nation but by the world. Many Pakistani actors like Mawra Hocane, Mahira Khan, Imran Abbas, Fawad Khan, Ali Zafar have done movies in India. But there is also a true patriot Shan Shahid who has not only rejected to be a part of Bollywood movie but has also openly criticized Pakistani actors for working in a Bollywood movie.
Since the Uri Attacks in Kashmir when 19 Indian Soldiers got killed, the extremist-organizations in self-claimed biggest democratic country, India, got in action and started threatening Pakistani artists for working in India. This has not happened for the first time during Indo-Pak crisis that Indian Political Parties or several extremist-organizations start threatening Pakistani artists and force them to prevent themselves from working in India. The near past is full of such incidents that Pakistani artists, singers and actors had to leave India due to life threats being given to them.
With the ongoing rifts, the Indian Motion Pictures Producers Association (IMPPA) came in front and gave an unexpected statement that the Pakistani actors and technicians in Bollywood and in other Indian Cinema hubs, would be banned from working until the situation between the two countries do not normalize. TP Aggarwal, the organization’s president, went even further and said that Pakistanis should be banned from working in Indian industry forever and Indian government should also ban their entrance in the country. IMPPA justified its stance by saying that the decision was taken by keeping in view the threats and problems that Pakistani artists might have to face.
Being the hot favorite Pakistani hero, Fawad Afzal Khan, was appreciated much by the Indian viewers. Having being part of a few Indian Movies, Fawad Khan was the first one to become the target of these extremist groups. Fawad Khan, in one of his projects, was playing the role of Indian Cricketer Virat Kohli in MS Dhoni’s bio-pic “MS Dhoni – The Untold Story” and had a few scenes in the movie. But, the pressure from Indian extremist organizations did not let producer add the scenes of Fawad Khan and eventually those scenes were eliminated from the film.
Fawad Khan also broke his silence over the scenarios and talked decently about promoting harmony and peace between the two nations. It was quiet a balanced statement as he didn’t want hyped headlines over his statement so that it could become a bit easier for him to fulfill his professional commitments across the border. Inspite of giving the diplomatic statement, Fawad Khan won’t find a way to be there in India later this month to promote his upcoming film “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil”. Rumors has it that due to extreme pressure from Shiv Sena and other Indian extremist-parties, Karan Johar is planning to replace the face of Fawad Khan with that of Saif Ali Khan in his upcoming film.
Fawad Khan was also to be the first guest in Koffee with Karan next season but eventually due to the crisis situation in India made Karan Johar change his plans and replaced Fawad Khan with Alia Bhatt and Shahrukh khan who are going to be the opening guests of Koffee with Karan Season 5.
Indian extremists have also targeted Pakistani actress Mahira Khan when she was all set to make her Bollywood debut in Shahrukh Khan’s “Raees” as a leading actress. But after the decision of IMPPA and pressure from Shiv Sena and MNS, the production team is planning to replace Mahira Khan with some other actress in “Raees”. India’s so called ultra-nationalist party MNS is pressurizing the producers to remove the scenes of Fawad Khan and Mahira Khan from their respective films and there are greater chances that Mahira Khan’s role would be replaced in “Raees”.
Now “The Cinema Owners and Exhibitors Association of India” has also announced to boycott the screening of films featuring Pakistani actors. India, being on too low for all such stuff to handle, has once again proved that there is no right of freedom of expression to anyone. Indian extremists are not only targeting Pakistani artists but they are also targeting Indian Muslim artists and those who are favouring Pakistani artists to work in India. Indian actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui was recently dropped out of a Hindu theatre festival with Shiv Sena stating the reason that it’s the history that in Budhana Ramlila festival, no Muslim artists has even been allowed to participate.
In account of banning Pakistani artists, many voices from Bollywood raised against the decision. Karan Johar, the director of Fawad Khan’s upcoming release said that his heart does bleed for the loss of Indian soldiers’ lives in Kashmir but that’s not an ultimate solution to ban Pakistani artists as they have nothing to do with it. Salman Khan, one of the highest paid actors in the world, expressed his views by saying that actors and singers are not terrorists and above all, its Indian government itself that issues visas to Pakistani artists after clearing them then how can anyone justify that these artists should not be a part of bollywood.
Om Puri was the one who made red headlines in both the countries through his statements defending Pakistan. He said several times on Indian talk shows that Indians lack patience and they only know how to find reasons to hate Pakistan and Pakistani people. He also said that he had been to Pakistan for six times, and every time he has found love and respect for himself and Indian artists. Meanwhile, Bollywood actor Om Puri has also slammed the move by the Indian cinemas and said that the filmmakers should go to court over this decision by some Indian Cinema Owners not to screen films with Pakistani actors. Om Puri, after his statements has been on the line of criticism from Indian extremist organizations.
— Om Puri (@_OmPuri) October 8, 2016
I got much love & respect from Pakistanis while being Indian. Whereas, Indians are outraged that I spoke for Indo-Pak prosperous future.
— Om Puri (@_OmPuri) October 9, 2016
Rani Mukherji is also very active and constantly tweets about ongoing Indo-Pak tensions and relevant scenarios. Her tweets have always burned Indians whenever Rani has shown Indians their true faces about their army and people. She has also expressed kind words for Pakistani artists. Apart from that, Anupam Kher and Nana Patekar were also among those who have talked about finding solutions so that Pakistani artists can work along with them.
Atleast one thing is for sure that India, on international level, has lost all the moral rights to claim itself as the biggest democracy of the world. India, on state level, cannot even restrict the activities of its extremist organizations and parties. When on state level, things are not going good, then different diplomacies always find a safe passage and a way out. Now with all these facts and figures, it has become obvious that banning Pakistani artists reflect the scary and extremist face of India.
The writer is a Research Analyst and holds a strong command over Entertainment Industry.
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