Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Pakistani artistes

Babul Supriyo wants Bollywood to ban Pakistani artistes. The occasion a press conference. Producer Vashu Bhagnani, whose film ‘Welcome to New York’ features a song by Pakistani singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan was present. He said “As an artiste I do feel that there are no boundaries to art. But having said that I feel when our soldiers are dying at the border, I think the rhetoric that tensions between India and Pakistan can be solved through cricket and music cannot be applicable for sometime. In Cricket, we are not allowing Pakistan cricketers to play in the premier league. And I think the Bollywood, which is a strong medium in itself, should take a stand as well on this issue. During the time of ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’, I took a stand in support of the makers and had to face a lot wrath for that. I had said that the film has been made and should not be obstructed because our Indian producers will face the losses. I stand by my fraternity. But right now, it is time that we show restraint when it comes to using Pakistani artistes in Bollywood.”

Vashu Bhagnani said “We made this song around 8-9 months ago. Now the film is releasing the day after tomorrow. We want to remove this song because for us the country and our soldiers come first. But still we cannot do anything as the film is releasing this Friday.”

Babul Supriyo is a BJP MP. He is Minister of State for Heavy Industries in Union Cabinet. He should ask External Affairs Ministry to stop issuing visas to Pakistanis. He should talk to PM and his colleagues in the cabinet to issue directions to stop working with Pakistanis. Some people do not support ban on Pakistani artistes. They get business from Pakistan.

If Bollywood bans Pakistani artistes, Pakistanis can ban Indian films. Many Bollywood films are released in Pakistan. Producers will lose. Pakistanis will watch those films on DVDs or torrent sites. Padmaavat was released in Pakistan without any controversy. Udta Punjab had cuts similar to CBFC cuts. Bombay High Court restores cuts except one. In Pakistan no one went to court against cuts.

Our soldiers continue to die in Kashmir. They are targets of stone pelters. Attacks from Pakistan continue. J&K Government, of which BJP is a part, decided to pardon stone pelters. If the BJP claims it was CM Mehbooba Sayeed’s decision and they had no role in it, they should quit the government.

Modi Government has not withdrawn Most Favoured Nation given to Pakistan. Talks with Pakistan continue in third countries and they do not get much publicity. When BJP was in opposition it used to say “Terror and talks do not go together.” Meanwhile in Pakistan, Supreme Court first removed Nawaz Sharif as PM, and now as PMN-L President.

Updated: February 22, 2018 — 10:55 pm

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