Bollywood boycotts Pakistani artists

Late September 2016, the Indian Motion Producers Association (IMPPA) announced that it’s boycotting half a dozen Pakistani artists as result of pro-Pakistan Kashmiri Mujahideen’s killing 20 Indian soldiers at an Indian military base inside Indian annexed part of the disputed state of Jammu and Kashmir last month.

Several Indian artists, politicians, diplomats, and intellectuals have condemned IMPPA decision.

On September 23, Admiral L. Ramdas, retired Chief of Naval Staff of Indian Army, in an open letter to country’s prime minister Narendra Modi has called New Delhi to stop bullying Pakistan because it’s counter productive to have peace between two neighbors. He said Pakistan with over 100 nukes is not weak anymore to get scared by Indian army.

India, by conducting the nuclear tests in 1998, was largely responsible for escalating the nuclear arms race in the region. It appears that this might have left us with little choice but to step back after the Uri attack. I do strongly believe that by overtly announcing our nuclear weapons capability we have lost the conventional advantage over Pakistan that we had for all these years,” wrote Ramdas.

One of the major causes of the continuing hostility between Pakistan and India, has been the inability to resolve the Kashmir issue. Over the years successive Indian governments since 1948 have failed to find a solution for Kashmir. Recent events, including the violence and unrest in the valley, has further reinforced what many have been saying, that there can be no military solution to the Kashmir problem. Peace can only be restored through a dialogue leading to a political solution,” adds Ramdas.

Critics in the film and music industry have warned that IMPPA ban would harm Indian film and music industry more than Pakistani artists in the long run. Pakistani artists and actors affected by the ban include Fawad Khan, Mahira Khan, Ali Zafar, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, world-renowned singer who has performed in Hollywood movies also, and Atif Aslam.

Suhail Qasim Mir, MBA, New Delhi resident posted on October 13, 2016: “The craving for banning Pakistan actors is encumbered with hatred and actually there is no concern for welfare of Indian citizens. If that was the case then why doesn’t this nationalist brigade get enraged when a dalit woman is stripped in full public glare or when tribals are evicted from their land to fend for themselves? Indian society has been held hostage to what Ramachandra Guha calls ‘nationalism of paranoia and insecurity’. The obsession of hating Pakistan is so deep that it eclipses the real issues at helm- poverty, unemployment, resentment in Kashmir, persecution of Dalits and tribals, gender inequality among others. Artists are soft targets. They particularly don’t have financial might or lobbying power to choke the voices speaking against them. No one spoke about banning trade with Pakistan since it would affect our powerful business class and govt can’t afford their displeasure.”

Modi’s ruling BJP and its allied Hindu fascist organizations have been trying their best to see Bollywood without Muslims since the partition of British India on August 14, 1947.

Muslim actors singers and producers such as Dilip Kumar, Suriyya, Meena Kumari, Mehboob Khan, Nargis, Madhubala, Muhammad Rafi, Nimi, etc. were the stars of the Indian-screen during British Raj. After partition, Khans (Shahrukh, Salman, Aamir, and Saif Ali) became the top-notch actors and film-producers in Bollywood.

Pakistan film industry also known as Lollywood was wiped off by TV dramas nearly three decades ago. Pakistani TV dramas are more popular than Indian dramas, and are watched by Pakistanis and Indians living in the West through western channels.

Bollywood is world’s No.1 movie industry followed by Nigerian Nollywood and Hollywood.

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