Recently, Indian nationalist party Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) gave Pakistani actors 48 hours to leave India in the wake of the Uri attack in held-Jammu and Kashmir.
The threat received an overwhelming response from Bollywood. While many spoke in favour of Pakistani actors, others called for them to be banned.
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“I understand and share the rage and anguish of people after the terror attack. But banning talent from Pakistan is not the solution to terrorism,” filmmaker Karan Johar told Burkha Dutt.
“Artists are like soft targets, which is very unfortunate. The concentration is somewhere else and this is not the solution to it. If this was the solution then fair enough, but this is not the solution,” Actor Riteish Deshmukh said.
Director Mahesh Bhatt, who has cast many Pakistani actors in films said the MNS threat was like a recurring nightmare. “The only institution which can decide whether a Pakistani national can stay in India or not is the Government of India. Pakistani artistes have legal documents and they don’t pose threats to anyone,” Bhatt said.
“Banning or sending artists back to Pakistan won’t serve any purpose, unless they are provoking any unpleasant emotions. Nobody belonging to the field of art is spreading hatred,” singer Kailash Kher said.
But there are a few who support the extremist notions of the MNS like singer Abhijeet Bhattacharya. “I think the MNS should not threaten stars, but those who invite them to work in India. People like the Bhatts and the Johars are encouraging them. They are the dirtiest people in this industry. The Pakistani film industry is thriving on Bollywood’s name. They have their head office in Mumbai,” he said.
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Amid the threats, there are actors like Sara Loren who have been left fearing for their lives. “When matters settle, I will come back. I fear for my life now, but have full faith in cops. We need to fight terrorism, not each other,” the Murder 3 actor said.
Courtesy : Express Tribune