Filmmakers criticize MNS threat to Pak artistes to leave India

Bollywood celebrities have criticised the Marashtra Navnirman Sena’s 48-hour ultimatum to Pakistani actors and artistes to leave India, in the wake of the recent terror attack in Uri army base.

The Raj Thackeray-led regional party has threatened that if the Pakistani actors don’t leave the country immediately, they will stop their shooting. MNS also questioned producers over their decision to cast Pakistani actors in their films.

Taking a dig at the party, acclaimed filmmaker Hansal Mehta wrote on Twitter, “MNS for next central govt. In one master stroke they have solved the India Pakistan problem. After all it is artistes who provoke attacks."   

Director Vikram Bhatt said India should push for declaring Pakistan as a terrorist state, instead of involving actors into the situation.

"We should concentrate on making sure that Pakistan is declared a terrorist state. That should be our effort. This (asking Pak actors to leave) is like trivialising the issue, whether artists or cricket should be allowed nor not...How does that matter? What matters is that people are dying, we have been constantly suffering... And the only thing we do is ban artists!" the ‘Raaz’ director told PTI.

When asked if he thinks Pakistani artistes, working here, should take a stand on the Uri attack, Bhatt said, "I expect them to take a stand but can they do that? They are actors, creative people, not activists. I don't think they can go back if they are going to talk against the terrorist outfits in Pakistan. They would surely fear for their lives, might as well become Indian citizens then. I think they would really fear for their safety."

Film critic Mayank Shekhar also expressed his opinion on the issue to a news channel. He said that culture is apolitical and when government of India has given permission to Pakistani actors to work here, any other political outfit should not "spread fear" among people.