Actor Ronit Roy related an interesting anecdote to convey his feeling about the current crisis regarding the Pakistani actors’ ban.
He said: “I will tell you what I felt when somebody told me something and I will let you come to your own conclusion in this matter. This friend of mine — who is also an actor — knows a jawan from the Indian army who is fighting at the LOC. My friend told me that he had a conversation with the jawan about this ban and the jawan, in return, asked him a question, ‘we are fighting here day and night for you, facing a shower of bullets for you and you are sitting there in Mumbai and drinking tea with those (Pakistani) actors?’ That story stayed with me and I hope you got your answer.”
He spoke at the trailer launch of Dongri Ka Raja.
Ronit’s story was greeted with thunderous applause.
Seated alongside him was his co-star of the film Ashmit Patel who too expressed his opinion about the ban.
Said Ashmit, “When I did the film Nazar it was with Meera who was a top Pakistani actress then and it was the first co-production between India and Pakistan. Mahesh Bhatt of Vishesh films and a Pakistani co-production were involved. There was a trailer of the film that was released in a film festival in Karachi where one shot had me pecking Mira on her lips which created a huge furore in Pakistan.
“They asked how can an Indian boy, that too a Hindu kiss, a Pakistani Muslim girl? So when the film was being premiered in Pakistan, everyone went except me because my visa was rejected. That stayed with me for long. I was very hurt because it was an important film for me and Bhatt Saab spoke to the then President of Pakistan Shaukat Aziz but even he said that he couldn’t do anything.”
Clarifying his stance on the ban, Ashmit said, “I am all for art and artistes but we should be allowed to work there without restrictions just like we allow them to work here and as far as this particular issue of ban is concerned we are not asking the Pakistani actors to condemn Pakistan or their government. We are asking them to speak up about terrorism. That is the least that they can do which I think Fawad did in a convoluted fashion recently. If taking this route (of ban) would mean terrorism will become the focus for Pakistani government, I am all for putting on restriction on them.”
Bollywood as a whole is yet to take a stand on the issue of Pakistani actors. Stars like Ajay Devgn, Nana Patekar, Sajid Khan have put country before self and declared their intentions of not collaborating with Pakistani actors for the moment.
There are a few who have opined that actors from across the border should issue strong statements condemning terrorist attacks while others have vociferously protest against the ban.
Radhika Apte recently expressed that banning Pakistani actors is not the solution. “Pakistani actors should also be allowed to come here and do films in India. I don’t think they should be banned,” the actress opined.
After Karan Johar, Salman Khan too spoke out in favour of Pakistani artistes delinking them from terrorism and terrorists. “They come here on valid visas given by our government. They are artistes not terrorists, ” said Khan.
Meanwhile, MNS remains steadfast in their decision to stall the release of Ae Dil Hai Mushkil if Fawad Khan’s scenes are not deleted from the movie. – CINEWS