Art is above all the hatred, conspiracies and knows no boundaries! Really? Well, we just wanted to know the mood that exists in the wake of the Uri Attack, and we set out to speak to a whole lot of people especially with reference to the threat by Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) to all the Pakistani artistes working in India- primarily Fawad Khan whose upcoming film Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’s trailer released this morning. The political party wants him to leave the country in 48 hours. The 'Go Away' list also includes names of other Pakistani artistes like Ali Zafar, Mawra Hocane, Mahira Khan (SRK's heroine of Raees).
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When contacted, MNS Chitrapat Sena leader Amey Khopkar, who issued the threat earlier today, said that he refuses to budge from his stance. Talking to SpotboyE.com exclusively, he said, "I don't care. Producers need to ensure that they no more cast Pakistani artistes. There is no scope for any discussion. After 48 hours, we will not let any Pakistani artistes shoot in India. And yes, we will not allow Ae Dil Hai Mushkil to release."
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BJP General Secretary of Maharashtra, Sanjay Upadhyay, was equally adamant. "Tomorrow, we shall write to the exhibitors that they cannot give a window to these two films, and there should be no law and order problem. We will voice our concerns on the social media too."
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However, Upadhyay added that Ae Dil Hai Mushkil can see the light of day if and only if Karan Johar (maker of ADHM) deletes Fawad's role. "The same applies to Mahira's part in Raees. Else we will not allow Raees to release too."
According to Mumbai BJP General Secretary Amarjeet Mishra, who spoke to us a few minutes ago,"There is no meaning of art from Pakistani artistes when their interests lie in their own land. Their heart does not beat for India. Why only artistes, we should not allow any Pakistani to come to India and work here."
Raising his voice, Upadhyay said, "We have such good artistes here. Why do we feed Pakistani artistes? EVery now and then, they kill our people and we allow them to have fun in movies and reality shows. God forbid but what if even a rupee earned by them goes to fund terrorism."
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Censor Board Chairman Pahlaj Nihalani was extremely vocal that 'Enough is Enough'. “The way the relations are between Pakistan and India, our nation should be the priority. Art and culture have no boundaries--- but that doesn’t mean we tolerate terrorism. India always welcomes everyone with open hands but in return our people suffer. It’s unfair. How long will we go on welcoming people and getting stabbed in our backs? The screws have to be tightened."
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Meanwhile, filmmaker Mukesh Bhatt had a different opinion. “Why penalise an Indian producer (Karan Johar) for no fault of his? Whether Pakistani artistes should be allowed to work in Bollywood is a call for the Government of India to take. We are only entertainers and that’s our job," he texted to SpotboyE.com.
Sanjay Upadhyay countered, "Look, this is being just selfish. We are making films with a Pakistani heroine just because Mumbai is peaceful, just because our soldiers are patrolling our border. Producers are bothered only about their investments? Ridiculous. Why not cast Akshay Kumar, Aamir Khan and Salman Khan? Aren't they great? Isn't Kapil Sharma great? Don't we have beautiful women in our country to be cast as a female lead, why cast a heroine from Pakistan? We have to stand up for our nation, people are scared that if there is a war the share market will crash. Let it crash if it is crashing to protect our nation."
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We also spoke to director Anil Sharma who once stirred a controversy with his cross border drama Gadar: Ek Prem Katha back in 2001. This is what he feels, “The Pakistani artistes who work and earn their living in India should appeal to their government to fight against terrorism. It’s their responsibility and duty to drive home the message as artistes have a voice. Why are they not raising their voices?”
Rewind a few days, industry’s eminent personalities like Amitabh Bachchan and Salim Khan too had expressed their disregard for terrorism. In a series of tweets, Salim Khan had writtten:
Amitabh Bachchan, SRK and Priyanka Chopra too had condemned the attacks.
Producer Rakesh Upadhyay who co-produced Himesh Reshammiya’s The Xpose has a completely different take on the issue. He sent us his strong opinion on this development.
“We look at the people of our neighbouring country Pakistan with a lot of warmth and love, as we would look at our near and dear ones. We discuss their food, their movies at our dinner time conversation. We appreciate their music talent, their television shows and I am fortunate enough to have worked with some of their biggest talents.
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However, unfortunately, what no one will ever admit is that the tax they pay to their government gets somehow connected with the funding of terrorism. It could be a small amount, but isn't one bullet enough to kill one soldier?
Time and again, we have been bullied by their government for banning Indian movies despite their country loving Indian cinema. Even the citizens of Pakistan are victims of their own government and their vulnerability has only caused terrorism to harm both India and Pakistan.
Now the big question: Should we continue to give work to Pakistan artistes while their country continuously breaks the promise of maintaining peace and order? You say Fawad Khan is good. You say Raahat Fateh Ali Khan and Atif Aslam are great singers? Unarguably yes.
But what is most important to note here is that while they earn more money and fame here as compared to what they get in their own country Pakistan, they have zero emotions for anything or anybody Indian. They ask Indians to encourage and support their work here, but have they spoken even once for Indian soldiers killed by Pakistani terrorists? Have they even once condemned the brutal and merciless killing of Indian jawans by terrorists and militants backed by Pakistani army? Has even one Pakistani artiste conceded that whatever is happening to Indian civilians and soldiers at the border is wrong? When they don't care for the people who applaud their work, why should those same people continue to support their creativity?
Stopping the Pakistan talent is not the final motive of this message but untill things are resolved and people in the Valley have smiles on their face, we should ask ourself -if we want to give them work in the Indian film industry or not?
Do we need to fund bullets which will penetrate the hearts of our soldiers?"
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On the other hand, renowned dialogue writer and Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na (2008) director Abbas Tyrewala too shared his views with SpotboyE.com: “Our Prime Minister Narendra Modi must take a firm action as he is the leader of the country. When our nation is subjected to such gruesome situations, we definitely look up to him.
However, if we target individual Pakistani artistes we become too small a nation. We should not be vindictive against the artistes--- because our problem is with the Pakistan establishment, army and their government, and not the creative people.”
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Shrishti Arya who produced Ali Zafar starrer London, Paris, New York chipped in, "It makes no sense to target artistes. If at all a ban has to be applied, it should be applied to all the communication and exchange between the two countries."
And then quickly added, "Modi is a sensible person. I am sure he will take the right step in the situation we find ourselves in."
(Inputs): Prachi Kadam
Thumbnail Image Source: fashion360 & indiaforums