The Uri attack has obviously upset a majority of Indians; much discussion about the what, why and how of things has been taking place lately. Frustration is leading to more trolling, more communally-insensitive comments and (as usual) bizarre blame games.
Amey Khopkar from the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) Chitrapat Sena has threatened Pakistani actors in India, telling them to leave in 48 hours or they will be put out by the MNS. Actors like Fawad Khan, Mahira Khan, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Imran Abbas are being targeted.
In the recent past, singer and holder of asinine opinions Abhijeet Bhattacharya had lashed out at directors like Karan Johar and Mahesh Bhatt for promoting Pakistani artistes such as Fawad Khan and Atif Aslam by letting them work in their films. Bhattacharya’s outburst was to be expected perhaps because he never did manage to be as big a hit as Atif Aslam is. In Bhattacharya’s head, it is probably easier to blame Aslam than admit that someone may simply be more talented.
Why is the MNS so determined to get rid of Pakistani actors though? No matter how things have stood between India and Pakistan politically, the art, literature and entertainment fields have rarely erected (or bothered about) barriers like nationality. Is there any proof that these actors are more than just mere actors? If not, why does the MNS want their departure to be so swift?
Shalini Thackeray, general secretary of MNS Chitrapat Karamchari Sena, said:
“You can’t find Indian actors for your films? In this 125 crore Indian population, can’t you find a single Indian actor to cast in your films that you import people from a place like Pakistan, a country with which we all are facing a problem. It’s not a veiled threat but a direct threat. We will not allow the release of these movies here.”
MNS has also said that they will stop the release of ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ because it has an extended cameo by Fawad Khan and also hinder the release of Mahira’s ‘Raees’. In 2015 too, both Fawad and Mahira were targeted by the Shiv Sena.
The Shiv Sena had also forced the cancellation of Ghulam Ali’s ghazal concert in Mumbai and Atif Aslam’s concert in Pune. They also forced Wasim Akram, Shoaib Akhtar and Aleem Dar to stop their participation in the India-South Africa series.
If these people are so offended and upset and truly lovers of the nation, they should either join the defense forces and help keep our country safe, force their political parties to make meaningful and long-lasting changes, or help make India better in a number of ways, both big and small.
Merely agitating, causing damage and destruction, and threatening people who have nothing to do with Pakistan’s bigger decisions is one of the best ways to prove how ineffectual you are. These people have no long-term solutions, no concrete ideas about improvement, no sway over their allied party BJP; so as a last-ditch effort to show power, they harass those who’re as caught up in this situation as you and I.
The worst part though is that such open examples of hate speech, whether against a religion, community, caste or ethnicity, are becoming way too common in India. Instead of being a nation of doers, we’ve become a nation of screamers and passive drones.