Mumbai: After the Uri attacks that saw 18 Indian soldiers losing their lives to terrorism, the country finds itself in the middle of an unusual battle with Pakistani actors. The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) had given a 48-hour ultimatum to Pakistani artistes to leave the country forcing actors like Fawad Khan to leave. Things got messier when Indian Motion Picture Producers’ Association (IMPPA) announced a ban on Pakistani artists and technicians for an indefinite period until normalcy returns.
While celebs like Salman Khan, Karan Johar and Mahesh Bhatt have condemned the decision of banning Pkaistan talent, veteran actor Nana Patekar feels that the country should come first and artists are only a small part of it.
The National award-winning actor was quoted as saying, “I don’t know anything else other than my country. An artiste is very small in front of a country. As artistes, we don’t have value when it comes to country…I was in the army and have spent two and half years there. I know who are our biggest heroes. No one can be a bigger hero than our jawans. Our jawans are our real heroes… We actors are trivial and insignificant. Please don’t pay attention to what we say.”
But it is not just Patekar who has publicly voiced his opinion on the burning topic which is heightening with each passing day. Randeep Hooda, in a series of tweets, made it clear that according to him, in order to free India from the clutches of terrorism, India must isolate Pakistani culturally.
MNS Chief, Raj Thackeray had vehemently criticised Salman Khan and Karan Johar for opposing the ban. A protest had also been staged outside Johar’s office post which MNS members were arrested by the local police. MNS has also threatened to stop the release of ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ and ‘Raees’ which features Pakistani actors Fawad Khan and Mahira Khan respectively. The release date of ‘Raees’ got postponed, eventually.
In an interview, Thackeray was reported as saying, “We have asked the theatres to not release their movie, we must teach them a lesson, the producers are more at fault than those artists.”
As a result of the ban, Pakistani artists like Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Mawra Hocane have lost Indian projects. If the ongoing tension is to intensify, the prospect of these artists ever working in the country again seem bleak.