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IFTDA’s Ashoke Pandit Calls For Ban On Pakistani Artists Working In Bollywood

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The Indian Film and Television Directors’ Association (IFTDA) has called for a ban on employing Pakistani artists. The association led a solidarity march in Film City, Mumbai yesterday where it announced the ban on Pakistani artists working in the country. The march saw the participation of members from 24 organizations including the Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE).

In a march that was attended by cinematographers, make-up men, junior artists, editors and fighters, IFTDA President Ashoke Pandit vehemently opposed the inclusion of Pakistani actors in Bollywood films, said India Today. He said that no Indian film will release in Pakistan,  said another report. He also announced that music companies will not sign Pakistani singers any longer. The event was attended by celebrities like Gajendra Chauhan, Govind Namdev, Isha Koppikar, Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh, Suresh Raina, Nia Sharma, Mukesh Chhabra and Salim Merchant.

The move comes in the wake of the killing of 44 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel in Pulwama in Kashmir on February 14. A militant drove an explosive-laden vehicle into a CRPF bus. The terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed claimed responsibility for the act. The public and the government has come down heavily upon Pakistan with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley withdrawing the Most Favoured Nation status given to the country.

Earlier today, the All India Cine Workers Association (AICWA) also announced a complete ban on Pakistani actors and artist working in the country. It also declared strong action against anyone found to be working with these artists.

T-Series, the music label company, has unlisted Pakistani singer Atif Aslam’s latest song Baarishein on YouTube. Atif Aslam has produced innumerable hits in India, has sung close to 11 songs despite a similar demand voiced by certain right-wing groups in 2016 in the aftermath of the Uri attacks. The Indian Motion Picture Producers Association had banned Pakistani artists from working in Bollywood ‘until normalcy returned.’

In September 2016, Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navanirman Sena issued an ultimatum to all Pakistani artists staying in India to return to their home country within a span of 48 hours, failing which they will be pushed out.

Karan Johar’s Ae Dil Hai Mushkil faced stiff opposition for featuring Fawad Khan. Uncertainty loomed large over the release which was set straight only after Johar went on record apologizing and pleading for his movie’s release. At one point, certain political parties even tried to arm-twist Karan Johar into making a donation for the Indian Army. The Army was quick to deny this saying they did not need anyone’s charity.

Image Courtesy: India Today

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