Pakistan and India’s relationship has always been similar to a bickering couple going through a bitter divorce. However, things took a really ugly turn after the Uri attacks, in which a group of terrorists attacked the army brigade headquarters. 17 Indian army personnel were killed in the attack on September 18, inciting further conflict between these two countries.
Since famous Pakistani artists like Fawad Khan, Ali Zafar and Mahira Khan didn’t publicly speak against the attack at that time, the Indian media and population became divided on whether an actor who earns his livelihood from working in another country, should show some sentiments for the people of that country or not. Things got tense with people expressing different opinions on the matter.
This resulted in Zee’s Zindagi channel pulling down Pakistani shows from its lineup and there has been an unofficial ban of sorts of Pakistani artists since then. Pakistan retaliated by officially banning Indian TV and radio programs. Since the unofficial ban, no Pakistani artist has performed in India.
Art should be kept free from politics. An artist can break boundaries with his or her work. You can’t stop people from listening to or viewing their favorite artists by putting a ban on them. Whatever happened to freedom of speech and democracy?
Art joins hearts and it should be kept away from hatred and violence. India and Pakistan, both, should not try to use art for their political agendas.
Mahesh Bhatt, known for his peaceful views, has broken this unofficial ban by signing famous Pakistani singer Shafqat Amanat Ali for his play titled Milne Do. The play shall be staged in Delhi on June 8 and in Mumbai on June 23. However, he will be recording from Pakistan only as he would not be able to visit India because of his jam-packed schedule.The interesting thing is that the play is based on cross-border peace and that was the reason the singer agreed to do it. Ali Zafar, Atif Aslam, and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan were also in talks for the same play.
We hope Mahesh Bhatt’s play Milne Do, with Shafqat’s voice will bring hearts closer and be a step towards healing all the bad memories.