Banning the ban? Indian actors take up Pak projects
In October 2016, the Indian Motion Picture Producers Association banned Pakistani actors from working in Bollywood films. This was following the killing of Indian army personnel in Uri by Pakistani forces. However recently, Indian actors such as Ileana D’Cruz and Kunal Kemmu have worked with Pakistani artists, while Pakistani actor Fawad Khan has been nominated in award shows here.
Does this mean that the ban is now a thing of the past? “There has been no change in IMPPA’s (Indian Motion Picture Producers’ Association) decision about the ban. We will take action against them,” says TP Aggarwal, president, IMPPA. Pahlaj Nihalani, the chairperson of the Central Board of Film Certification, feels Indian actors should refrain from taking up Pakistani projects till things normalise between the countries. “Every person has to take a decision in the interest of the country. If they are working with Pak artists, then it is their wish but they will face problems in the end,” says Nihalani.
Pakistani actor Mahira Khan, who could not promote her film alongside Shah Rukh Khan in India, has said she’s upset with the ban. “I also want to be in an interview with Shah Rukh Khan talking about the film. It is my right. This was also my film,” she said in an interview to a Pakistani newspaper.
It was recently announced that Pakistani actor Adnan Siddiqui has been granted work visa to shoot for actor Sridevi’s Mom, but producer Boney Kapoor clarifies, “The shooting of the film is complete. My film was among the five that were cleared. (But) there is no question of working again till things get better,” says Kapoor.
However, artists on both sides are hoping that the ban will be lifted. “Artists cannot be stopped because we have always chosen the path of love,” says singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, whose track Saware, features Kemmu.
Indian actor Kunal Kemmu features in a Pakistani video that has Pakistani singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan (below)
Illena D’Cruz in a music video with Pakistani singer Atif Aslam