The current ban imposed by the Motion Picture Producers Association on all the artists from our pals from across the border has become a widely discussed topic. With people from all areas voicing their opinions, the Indian film Industry itself has been split into two. With many actors supporting the ban. There is still a majority of the Industry opposing it, as “Art has no boundaries.”
So let’s begin with an analogy. Now I understand a lot of you might feel it’s pretty poorly drawn. But please, play along. You and I could be the best of friends. We practically grew up together. Of late have even collaborated in our work. One fine day, however, you fatally injure my brother. And it isn’t an accident either. You were well aware of the consequences of your act.
Pardon my romanticism, but I doubt you’d expect me to act in a manner not prejudiced to the other side. And that’s where all arguments of “But it isn’t their fault.” or “What have they got to do with it?” and most importantly, “Don’t make artists pay for political games.” fall flat on their faces. For this isn’t a political game. It is the reality.
Randeep Hooda, one of the few actors who supports the ban, puts it rather succinctly: “When we try to isolate a nation, we do so in all aspects – economically and diplomatically. And so, Cultural isolation must follow.”
Yes, we understand that Fawad Khan garnered the popularity he did because he is good at his craft. That Atif Aslam is indeed a peace loving and genuinely good hearted person. However, all of this is besides the point. there is a dire, undeniable need to send a strong message to Pakistan today. A message of unwavering solidarity. One which says that we stand with our soldiers come what may. And the only way to do so is to shun across all spheres. Even if this results in a few people having to move back to their beloved country. Well then, so be it.
How does one “keep politics away from art” when talking about something that affects the lives of a whole nation? Do Mr. Bhatt and Mr. Johar realize that India has, in fact, tried countless number of times to resolve the dispute with Pakistan peacefully, and failed every single time? The issue here is not the fairness of banning all Pakistani artists from performing in our movies. The ban is simply one of the many ways of condemning Pakistan’s double faced attitude towards terrorism. They act helpless on one hand while breeding terrorists in thousands on the other.
And even though you say that of course you condemn Pakistan and its actions, but banning artists is not a solution; remember that it isn’t meant as a solution. It is meant as an act of solidarity to every single man and woman who stands guarding your border, while you debate on the fairness of the whole scenario. It is meant to be a sign of the fact that we value the unwavering sacrifices of our defence forces much above any actor or actress.
So the next time someone tells you that artists don’t have a nationality, remind them that soldiers most definitely do.
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