Banning Artists across the Border

Written by Arubiyyah Qadir Balouch

Musicians and Actors that worked in India

Pakistan and India have issues when it comes to Kashmir. Kashmir always did want to belong to Pakistan as it was a majority Muslim populated state. India even though promised Pakistan all Muslim majority states did not give up Kashmir due to the resources Kashmir offers.

However, Pakistan did take part of Kashmir by force and the other half is always under the Indian Army, where there are numerous protests, atrocities done by the Indian armed forces on the Kashmiris that protest by throwing stones as retaliation. Approximately 100,000 Kashmiris have been killed in the last 30 years with the latest pallets being used to blind the Kashmiris for throwing stones and protesting the Indian occupation.

Pakistani Actor Fawad Khan with Indian Actress Sonam Kapoor

With all this happening a latest suicide bomb that happened in Pulwama caused the death of approximately 40 Indian soldiers, which in turn saw the Indian population blaming Pakistan for brainwashing the Kashmiris against Indians. Pakistan claims no part of it and the Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan said that the Indians must come on the table to discuss Kashmir and they would need to understand what has caused Kashmiri youth to blow themselves up.

So, India carried on to blame, judge and announce the punishment without any investigations and advised all industries to pull out businesses from Pakistan. One such industry is Bollywood, which relies heavily on Pakistani music and Pakistani singers. The music industry makes most of its music from Pakistan, and once the music is made then gets it sung by their local singers, who usually end of copying the way the song is sung by the Pakistani artist. The Pakistani artist gets paid and so does the Indian artist who mimics the Pakistani artist. The second most common way of getting music from Pakistan is from well known names like Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Atif Aslam, Shafqat Amanat Ali and many others. The later is more apparent in being known as a Pakistani because their names are used, unlike in the first case, where the Pakistani artist remains anonymous.

Mahira Khan

Pakistani films have always been banned in India and are only given some spots in local small film festivals of India. Pakistani artists were already banned a good 5 years ago.

Recently, India banned Olympics Sports people of Pakistani decent by not giving them Indian visas to play in India. In response to the denial of visas to Pakistan shooters for the ISSF World Cup in New Delhi, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has suspended “all discussions” with India regarding hosting of global sporting events. The denial of visas to the two Pakistan shooters came in the wake of last week’s Pulwama terror attack in which more than 40 CRPF personnel were killed.

Indian Actor Irfan Khan with Pakistani actress Saba Qamar

In addition to the suspension, the IOC also revoked the Olympic qualification status for the men’s 25m rapid fire pistol event from the ISSF World Cup — the event the two Pakistan shooters were taking part in. That season-opening ISSF event in New Delhi originally had 16 Olympic quota places up for grabs.

This was a huge punishment for going against the charter of the IOC. Moreover, on the Pakistan side, Indian movies are not banned but India has stopped giving Pakistan its movies for theatrical release. Some analysts say that the Pakistani cinemas will suffer due to its large dependence on Hollywood and Bollywood films as Lollywood just restarted 5 years ago and movies are on the rise. But the Lollywood industry would take another 5 years or more to produce over 100 films a year. Whereas some actors are rejoicing for having no competition in the theatres when it comes to Pakistani films and hence feel it’s a good thing that India is not releasing any films in Pakistan as most of the Bollywood films are easily available in pirated copies within a matter of hours after its release in India.

Whatever maybe the outcome, India needs to understand that having a dialogue is much better than reaching a conclusion. Pakistan’s PM Imran Khan in his speech said that if anyone threatens Pakistan, then Pakistan will not think it will only take action.