Can Pakistani actors work in the Hindi film industry after being banned? Here’s what the Bombay Bombay High Court Said.
In the last seven years, Pakistani artists have been absent from the Indian film industry due to a de facto ban. Previously, actors and singers from across the border were a common sight in Hindi and other language films. However, this changed in 2016 when political relations between India and Pakistan took a decline. Recently, a petition in the Bombay High Court aimed to formalize this ban, but the court rejected it. So, are we going to see Pakistani artists in Bollywood again? The answer is somewhat complex. Therefore it is quite hard to reveal.
A petition was brought away by Faaiz Anwar Qureshi. Who claims to be a cine worker, in the Bombay High Court, seeking a ban on Pakistani artists working in India. This list consists of artists including all the Pakistani artists working in the Indian film industry, like actors, musicians, singers, lyricists, and technicians. However, the court rejected this plea calling it a wrong course of action. The division bench, of Justices Sunil Shukre and Firdosh Pooniwalla, said that true patriotism doesn’t involve hostility toward foreign nationals.
They stated, “A genuine patriot is someone who is selfless and dedicated to their country, which requires having a good heart. A person with a good heart would welcome any activities in their country that promote peace, harmony, and tranquility, both domestically and across borders.” The court further clarified. “To be a patriot, one need not hold animosity toward people from abroad, especially those from neighboring countries.”
However, the court’s rejection of the petition doesn’t guarantee a quick return of actors like Fawad Khan and Mahira Khan or singers like Atif Aslam and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan to the Indian film industry. Actually, the ban on Pakistani artists was not represented by the government but by industry associations in 2017, led by the Federation of West India Cine Employees (FWICE). Consequently, since that time, Pakistani artists have been unable to work in Indian films. Unless these industry associations change their attitude, the situation is unlikely to change.