October 16, 2016: The Uri attack which caused the death of 19 soldiers, also have caused the death of cultural bonhomie. On Friday, the Cinema Owners and Exhibitors Association of India (COEAI) announced that no films with Pakistani actors, singers or musicians will be allowed to release. The COEAI statement was one of the latest moves in the rising crescendo of hatred towards the Pakistani artistes working in India.
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Before this, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief ordered the Pakistani artists to leave the country within 48 hours. It was followed by Zee Entertainment’s planning to ban Pakistani shows from its Zindagi channel, in order to condemn the Uri attack.
The COEAI association, which represents somewhat 450-odd single screens in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka and Goa have already enforced the ban on Karan Johar’s upcoming film Ae Dil Hai Mushkil featuring Pakistani actor Fawad Khan, which is all set for its Diwali release.
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The wars between the neighboring countries have disrupted the sporting and cultural ties every now and then. The sub-continental twins stopped playing cricket with each other between 1962 and 1977. The relation between the two soured again during the Kargil war in 1999 and after the terror attack in Mumbai in 2008, it again led to the suspension of cricketing ties.
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Though the matches often show the bitter sibling rivalry towards each other, the love for each other is well depicted at the cultural sphere through films, where time and again we are reminded, the borders are man-made. Across the borders the people live with same emotions and Indian films like Veer-Zara, Gadar Ek Prem Katha ,Bajrangi Bhaijaan etc beautifully presented it to the viewers of both sides of the border. There is no denying that cricket and movies play an important role in easing the tensions.
Sadly, the frenzied mobs baying for some kind of vengeance to chew on is only enjoying the current scenario. This can never be the answer to terrorism. Rather, it is just paralyzing one of the most effective ways of communication. The cultural bonding between the two and the process of giving and taking is only barred through this.
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Moreover, to the soldiers who all are exchanging gunfire with the Pakistanis at the LoC, to them, the mere idea of citizens of India engaging in the cultural bonhomie with Pakistan and banning Fawad Khan or a Mahira Khan’s movie or in that case singing sensations like Atif Aslam or Rahat Fateh Ali Khan might seem only surreal and may be unpatriotic too.
– by Pinaz Kazi of NewsGram. Twitter: @PinazKazi