The MNS Chitrapat Sena, an affiliate of Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) set a 48-hour deadline for Pakistani artistes working in Bollywood to leave India.
Amey Khopkar, of the MNS Chitrapat Sena, said of Friday, “We gave a 48 hour deadline to Pakistani actors and artists to leave India or MNS will push them out.”
The call comes after terrorists from Jaish-e-Mohammed based out of Pakistan attacked an army brigade in Uri which left 18 Indian Army soldiers martyred.
Pakistani artistes like Fawad Khan, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Ghulam Ali have been welcomed and appreciated in India.
Shiv Sena had previously objected to Ghulam Ali’s performance in India on the grounds that Indian artistes are not even welcomed by Pakistan. They had also justified their objection by pointing out how Pakistan continues to violate ceasefire and terrorists from the country keep attacking India.
“All those who talk of keeping politics separate from arts and sports are traitors of the country,” Shiv Sena had said in ‘Saamna’.
The call by the MNS affiliate is based on similar lines. India is furious following the Uri attack and though the government has maintained restraint, PM Modi has said that the perpetrators won’t go unpunished.
At the same time India has started cornering Pakistan on the international stage by providing more evidence on Islamabad’s support to terror groups and its atrocities on Balochistan.
Despite numerous terror attacks on India from Pakistan-based terrorists, Pakistani artistes continue to work in Bollywood uninterrupted.
Their arrival in large numbers started during the UPA regime and continues to this day.
Besides Fawad Khan, who also won a Filmfare Award, Pakistani singer/actor Ali Zafar, too, has cemented his place in Bollywood. Then there are Pakistani actresses such as Mawra Hocane and Mahira Khan. While Mawra has already debuted in Bollywood, Mahira is set to make her debut with Shah Rukh Khan in ‘Raees’.
The most logical reason why the Pakistani celebrities should be asked to go back to Pakistan is the economics of employment.
What happens actually is that Pakistani actors and singers in Bollywood make enormous sums of money in India both from films and promotional activities.
As Pakistani citizens, they remit the money they earn in India to Pakistan. This helps fill the coffers of the Pakistani establishment.
The money is deposited in Pakistani banks. But as is the case everywhere, money doesn’t lie idle in banks. The money is utilized for economic activities, which in Pakistan’s case could mean anything.
Though the money sent by these Pakistani actors is miniscule compared to the foreign aid Pakistan receives, nevertheless the money is also part of the funds used by their government to finance their nefarious activities against India.
The Pakistani celebrities are definitely not to be blamed for what their country is doing to India. But that the economic advantage they get in India directly helps build Pakistan’s economy is something to take note of.
So even if some ‘liberal’ voices in Bollywood would scoff at MNS’ ultimatum, there is no doubt that both the MNS and the Shiv Sena are right in their demands against Pakistani celebrities.