Actor Amitabh Bachchan refused to comment on the political call to ban Pakistan actors in the wake of the Uri terror attacks. Addressing the media on his 74th birthday, Bachchan said, “This is not the time and I don’t think it is right to put forward these questions. Who said what, where and how… this is not the time.”
Standing by the army in these troubled times, Bachchan echoed the sentiments of Akshay Kumar and said, ” The nation is incensed we all know that. People of this country are very angry by the incidents that have been happening at the border. I think it is the time to show solidarity to our jawans and our armed forces who are sacrificing their lives so that you and me can be safe here. That is what needs to be put in question. Nothing else.”
Responding to another question about how fair is to ban an artist, Bachchan said, “I respect every artiste.”
He was also asked if he would indeed by paying a musical homage to Uri attack martyrs. “Someone praised the Hanuman Chalisa I had recently sung and said I should pay homage to Uri martyrs. I said I would like to do it but would need to have some inputs. But it was reported that it is indeed happening,” he added.
When asked about his comment on Twitter after surgical strikes, Amitabh said, “That is a line from my film, Major Saab.”
Bollywood as a whole still remains divided on the issue of Pakistani actors. While few have opined that actors from across the border should issue strong statements condemning terrorist attacks, others have vociferously protest against the ban. Radhika Apte recently expressed that banning Pakistani actors is not the solution. “Pakistani actors should also be allowed to come here and do films in India. I don’t think they should be banned,” the actress opined.
Watch: Amitabh Bachchan speaks about terror on his 74th birthday
In reality, majority of Bollywood continues to support Pakistani artists, throwing their weight behind them and demanding to know how slapping of a ban would stop terrorism. After Karan Johar, Salman Khan too spoke out in favour of Pakistani artistes delinking them from terrorism and terrorists. “They come here on valid visas given by our government. They are artistes not terrorists, ” said Khan
In September, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena had called for a ban on all Pakistani actors working in India and also said that they will not allow films to release which have Pakistani actors in them. Later, the Indian Motion Pictures Producers’ Association (IMPPA) called for a blanket ban on artistes and technicians from Pakistan. However, IMPPA had said films with Pakistani actors which have been finished — Karan Johar’s Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and Shah Rukh Khan’s Raees – will be released.
Since the Uri terror attack of September 18 that killed 19 soldiers. Pakistani actors were slammed for not condemning the terror attacks. Ever since then, Fawad Khan and Mahira Khan had posted Facebook messages condemning terror.
In his official Facebook post, Fawad wrote, “I’ve been in Lahore since July as my wife and I had been expecting our second child. I’ve received numerous requests from the media and from well wishers worldwide asking me for my thoughts on the sad incidents that took place in the past few weeks. As a father of two little children, I pray and wish like many others that together we can build and live in a more peaceful world. I believe we owe it to our children who will shape our tomorrow. This is the first time I have spoken on the matter. Please disregard any other words attributed to me during this time because I have not said them. I thank all my fans and fellow artists from Pakistan, India and people in general all over the world who have shown continued support for their belief in love and understanding to unite a divisive world.”
On Monday, Mahira posted, “As a Pakistani and citizen of the world I strongly condemn any act of terror, any loss of human life no matter which soil it is on. I will not rejoice in bloodshed and war. I will always hope for and dream of a world where my child can live without it, and always plead with everyone to imagine a peaceful world. It has also been in this time my faith in saner minds and goodness has been restored, thank you for the messages, love and support.”