It seems like there is no end to the controversy brewing around the ban on Pakistani actors demanded by the MNS in the aftermath of Uri attacks. At the Bridge Talks held in New Delhi on Saturday, ace choreographer and director Farah Khan, in a conversation with The Express Group’s Executive Director Anant Goenka, said she would “prefer having someone from my country in my movies.”
The Bridge Talks is a new initiative by The Caravan to facilitate conversations on some of the most pressing issues of our times. While talking on gender empowerment, Farah said it would be unfair to ban films such as Ae Dil Hai Mushkil (starring Fawad Khan) and Raees (with Mahira Khan in lead), which have already been finished. However, said Farah, from now on the industry should focus on working with actors from our own country.
“I think there are a handful people, not even handful but may be two people we are talking about. They are not important in the scheme of things. When they did those movies, it wasn’t illegal to have Pakistani actors working in Indian movies. The movies were shot at considerable expense and hardwork, I don’t think it is fair to ban those movies. I think from now on, if you are saying we should not work with them, I say we have enough talent in our country and we should work with people from our country. What do we don’t have that they have? I think we are far better. So, we would work with our people. I would definitely prefer to take somebody from my country for my movies,” Farah said at the event.
Watch the whole conversation here:
MNS chief Raj Thackeray had earlier raised a similar point, demanding to know if India had a short supply of artistes and what is the need of Pakistani artistes to work in Indian films. “I don’t understand. Jawans are fighting for us at borders.What’ll happen if they decide to put down their weapons? Who’ll guard our borders? Salman Khan? These artists should realise ‘Nation first’. If they have so much problem, we will ban their movies too,” he said.
At least three major films, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil starring Fawad Khan, Raees starring Mahira Khan and Dear Zindagi with Ali Zafar are slated for release over the next few weeks. The MNS objection has reportedly created a huge hurdle in terms of pre-release promotional activities, cinema hall bookings and related issues.