Bol­ly­wood bans Pak­istani ac­tors

The Myanmar Times - - The Pulse -

A TOP Bol­ly­wood movie mired in con­tro­versy for fea­tur­ing a Pak­istani ac­tor will open as sched­uled in In­dia af­ter an in­dus­try body agreed to ban ac­tors from across the bor­der in fu­ture.

A hard­line Hindu na­tion­al­ist party had threat­ened to at­tack cin­e­mas that showed prom­i­nent In­dian di­rec­tor Karan Jo­har’s film Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, as ten­sions run high be­tween New Delhi and Is­lam­abad.

But the Film and Tele­vi­sion Pro­duc­ers Guild of In­dia has now promised to bar Pak­istani ac­tors in fu­ture un­der a deal bro­kered be­tween the sides on Oc­to­ber 22.

The movie star­ring Pak­istani heart-throb Fawad Khan is set for re­lease next week­end, two days be­fore the Di­wali Hindu fes­ti­val of lights, a ma­jor hol­i­day in In­dia.

“In the larger in­ter­est of the sen­ti­ments of the peo­ple and the sol­diers and the en­tire coun­try, we will not work with any Pak­istani artist in the fu­ture,” guild pres­i­dent Mukesh Bhatt told re­porters af­ter the meet­ing.

Bol­ly­wood is the lat­est bat­tle­ground for height­ened ten­sions be­tween nu­cle­ar­armed archri­vals In­dia and Pak­istan, sparked by a deadly at­tack last month on an In­dian army base blamed on Pak­istani-based mil­i­tants.

In a series of tit-for-tat moves in the en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­try, Pak­istan has sus­pended screen­ing all In­dian movies un­til ten­sions calm, while Hindu na­tion­al­ists in In­dia have threat­ened vi­o­lence at cin­e­mas show­ing films with Pak­istani ac­tors.

In­dia and Pak­istan have fought three wars since in­de­pen­dence in 1947.

Un­der the deal, Jo­har and his col­leagues have agreed to con­trib­ute 50 mil­lion ru­pees (US$747,220) to the In­dian army as “penance” for us­ing a Pak­istan ac­tor in the first place.

They have also agreed to run a tribute to the sol­diers who were killed be­fore the film starts, ac­cord­ing to Raj Thack­eray, head of the far-right re­gional party Ma­ha­rash­tra Navnir­man Sena.

The fire­brand leader said protests against the film have now been called off, but it was un­clear if agree­ment was reached on his wider de­mand for all moviemak­ers to pay a penance if they had cast a Pak­istani ac­tor pre­vi­ously.

The deal was struck at a meet­ing be­tween Jo­har, the guild and Thack­eray and bro­kered by Deven­dra Fad­navis, chief min­is­ter of Ma­ha­rash­tra state. The state cap­i­tal Mum­bai is the home of Bol­ly­wood.

Ae Dil Hai Mushkil (“This Heart is Com­pli­cated”), which stars Aish­warya Rai Bachchan and Ran­bir Kapoor, will hit In­dian the­atres on Oc­to­ber 28.

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