In­dia, Pakistan are dif­fer­ent na­tions, says Kalki Koech­lin

Pakistan Today (Karachi) - - ARTS -

Bol­ly­wood ac­tor Kalki Koech­lin says In­dia and Pakistan are re­mark­ably dif­fer­ent coun­tries.

The Dev D ac­tor, who col­lab­o­rated with ac­claimed Pak­istani film­maker Sabiha Su­mar on Az­maish, opened up about her ex­pe­ri­ence of trav­el­ling across the two coun­tries in con­nec­tion with the doc­u­men­tary.

“Usu­ally, we see the two coun­tries through the prism of con­flict. Or cricket, which is also con­flict. With Az­maish, we try to un­der­stand In­dia-Pakistan from a dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive. It arises from the need to know this per­son across the bor­der, with­out the me­dia or the pol­i­tics play­ing a role. It’s about what the com­mon man on the street has to say,” Kalki told In­dian Ex­press.

Speak­ing about the dif­fer­ences be­tween In­dian and Pakistan, she said, “I re­alised that de­spite the ob­vi­ous sim­i­lar­i­ties in cul­ture and lan­guage, In­dia and Pakistan are vastly dif­fer­ent na­tions. Both have glar­ing is­sues and need to look in­ward, rather than point fingers at each other. The project made us won­der if we are look­ing for a re­li­gious iden­tity in In­dia now, and what that did to Pakistan.” The ac­tor said the time was ripe for greater cul­tural ex­changes be­tween the two na­tions. “More than ever now, the two coun­tries need to con­tinue cul­tural ex­changes and pro- mote de­bate,” she said.

On her in­ter­ac­tions with peo­ple in con­nec­tion with the doc­u­men­tary, the Dev D ac­tor said, “I met some girls in Pakistan who told me about their se­cret am­bi­tion of want­ing to act when they grow up but how so­ci­ety wouldn’t per­mit. We met some feu­dal land­lords in Pakistan, and one of them was very open to con­ver­sa­tion de­spite the fact that we crit­i­cised his lot.” Kalki was all praise for award-win­ning film­maker Sabiha, “She was very brave, and trav­elled to ar­eas in Pakistan where she was the only wo­man, and de­bated with re­li­gious fig­ures.” “She is way more ex­pe­ri­enced than I am. She is a very sen­si­tive per­son, and that’s where we con­nect the most. She fears that In­dia is mov­ing to­wards ex­trem­ism, and I try and tell her that we are too di­verse for one per­son to rule the dis­course,” the ac­tor added.

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