[dropcap]I[/dropcap]n the wake of recent Uri attack in the base camp at Jammu & Kashmir, which killed as many as 18 army personnel has once again put our neighbouring country, Pakistan in the dock. The tension regarding the border security issue has escalated ever since the attacks took place. Maharashtra Navnirman Sena’s affiliate Chitrapat Sena has warned the Pakistani actors to leave the country as soon as possible. The Uri attack has been strongly condemned across the globe by world leaders. Earlier, Pakistani ghazal singer Ghulam Ali’s concert in India also faced backlash from various political parties.
Pakistani artists come to India to work because India offers them prospect. Why does India offer them this opportunity? Like the USA, Indian businesses doesn’t want to say ‘no’ to talent, wherever it comes from and therefore they’ve lobbied hard to make sure Indian government liberalises it’s work permit and visa rules. Moreover, Bollywood has global ambitions and it can’t reach this global status by hiring only local talent. These artists have nothing to do with cross border politics, and prohibiting them will really not solve any problem, but yes if this is a way of showing anger then it has been done several times. Why MNS or Shiv Sena indulge in such publicity stunts when the country is undergoing crisis? Are they not trying to derive political mileage? Why don’t they stick to their intent? Bollywood has a huge number of fans in Pakistan and earns a good share of income from the neighbouring country. Keep art and entertainment separate from politics because art does not have any boundaries. Politics and art should not be mixed. Politicians should not take advantage of every situation to divide people. Now, everything is digital. Indians love to watch each and every entertainment show, including popular Pakistani shows. So, art and entertainment have no boundaries. Entertainment is evaluated by what common people want to watch.
Earlier, Shah Rukh Khan also addressed about the ‘growing intolerance’ across the border. In an answer to a question posed on Twitter, King Khan accepted that Indian society was suffering from widespread intolerance and the biggest mistake a patriot can make is to go against secularism in India. We can sit on the sidelines and complain but the guys putting crores into movies deserve the autonomy to decide who they want to cast – they are the best judges of talent because they are putting money where their mouth is. If Bollywood movies are successful, it’s good for India and this helps create more jobs as subsequent projects become bigger and bolder. As an unintended consequence of this, India gains additional ‘soft power’. By capturing the hearts and minds of people around the world, including neighbouring countries, this helps it exert influence in a smart non-confrontational manner.
A valid point, but this has nothing to do with the issue at hand. It’s the decision of the director and his colleagues to cast the actor they want. Whether they choose an actor from the Samoan Islands or Brunei is none of our concern. Bear in mind you are talking about these foreigners working in a country that is known for its huge NRI (non-residential Indian) community, that works in multiple continents and countries all around the world.
Every Pakistani actor wants to work in India, more professional, having more opportunities, big thinking and of course lumpsum money, they all enjoy here. We Indians are great followers of those singers and artists. The artists of Pakistan and the Indian film industry are setting a very good example of how the two nations can pool their talents together and work well. If only the politicians could learn from this example. Anyways, India needs to address the issues with Pakistan on a serious note but without dragging those innocent people who are here to work for us, because of them we can generate funds in industry. They play a major role in taking our film industry to cross border.
Work towards peace with India and Pakistan and you can have all the good roles you want in mainstream Indian cinema. We are wasting our precious resources fighting each other instead of pooling them for bettering the life of our people in both countries. More collaboration needs to happen in other fields as well. I think it will be an honour for Indian actors to go and work in Pakistan serials, which are much better in content and quality. There is a sizeable expatriate population from all over the world in most Indian cities, people who come to India for business or trade reasons. Good omen, I would say!
Talent, ambition and passion do not need to flourish inside the boundaries. Art has no borders.
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