Veteran actor Om Puri and director Nagesh Kukunoor have come out in support of Pakistani actors.
They express sentiments akin to Salman Khan who has said art and politics should be kept separate and banning the artistes will not change the situation. Puri said Pakistani artistes are not working illegally here and if they are sent back, Indian producers, who have signed them for their films, will suffer heavy losses.
“When the government is taking an action, we all should stay quiet. It hardly matters if we send back the artists from Pakistan, who are working here, or let them stay. I have been to Pakistan six times and have met people from all strata,” said the 65-year-old actor.
“I have always received love and warmth. If the Pakistani actors leave the projects they are doing here in the middle, then people in India (filmmakers) will also face financial loss. Hence, this is insignificant. The actors have not come here through any illegal way. They have valid visa. But, if the government will ask them to leave, then it is a different story,” he said.
Many actors expressed similar sentiments. If the action to expel Pakistani stars is a decision taken by the government many would agree with that but now the move to ban the artistes has come from a radical religious organization.
Filmmaker Nagesh Kukonoor said though the situation between India and Pakistan is complex, he believes art should be kept away from politics. “I have always believed that art should stand alone. Even if you take the worst periods in a nation’s history, World War II, art still had its voice. I don’t think the two should be mixed. Having said that, the India-Pakistan situation is an extremely complex one. We are all part of the same country. 60-70 years is a very short period to actually find some kind of peaceful common ground.”
Their remarks came days after superstar Salman Khan opposed the ban on Pakistani actors, saying they are artistes not terrorists.
The film industry has been divided on the issue of banning Pakistani artistes in the wake of Uri attack. Actor Randeep Hooda, filmmakers Ashoke Pandit, Anupam Kher are among those who have backed the ban. Hooda tweeted that Pakistan should be culturally isolated.
Some Bollywood personalities have said the actors are the easiest and soft targets for action and they ask the organitions behind the banning of Pakistani stars why not take action against the Indian companies involved in import and exports with Pakistan.
Is it because economy is too large a behemoth than art to mess with? – CINEWS