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Is Raj Thackeray's five crore rupee demand from filmmakers casting Pakistani artistes appropriate?
In a compromise mediated by Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, MNS chief Raj Thackeray called off his protest against Karan Johar's film Ae Dil Hai Mushkil. MNS chief further said that if any producer casts Pakistani actors, he must donate Rs 5 crore to the army relief fund.

Earlier, the producer's guild led by Mukesh Bhatt had promised that they will not entertain Pakistani actors anymore. Karan Johar had too released a video citing that he had high respect for the Indian Army and that he understands and respects public sentiment. He also expressed that there are many Indian artists who have worked in his film so the film should be allowed to screen unopposed for the benefit of Indian artists and technicians.

Many people are of the opinion that Karan Johar's late appreciation is driven by the financial loss he may suffer if his film starring Pakistani actor Fawad Khan is blocked from screening.

At the same time, many are criticising MNS for cultural terrorism. The recent proposal of MNS chief for Rs 5 crore contribution towards army relief fund is also being viewed by many as ransom. Before analysing this MNS diktat, let's first look into the real aim of the pro-Pakistan lobby.

It may not be official, but the fact is that India is at war with Pakistan. Not only at the borders through ceasefire violations, Pakistan is also trying to inflict thousand of wounds to India through proxy wars in supporting, harbouring and master minding anti-Indian terror modules. Pakistan's economy is continuously on a down slide. It's a politically unstable country and its society instead of modernising is progressing reversely towards medieval-era barbarism. Thus, there is no point in organising any people-to-people meets, cultural exchanges or indulging in any other non-governmental diplomacy. Pakistan will never ever stop attacking India by whatever means it has even if it means destroying itself. Thus, complete isolation and military action are the only ways left for India.

India has already completely boycotted Pakistan in sports like cricket, badminton and kabaddi. But there are still some pro-Pakistani doves in our country, especially in Bollywood and also a few other self-proclaimed literary experts groups. The latter group are only interested in five-star type cultural meets, with first class air travel, that have little to do with a meaningful literary exchange. India is the country of Gandhi that believes in non-violence whereas Pakistan is the land of military dictatorship and mercenaries that only understand the language of bullets and bombs. Thus, there can be no match in the mind-sets of India and Pakistan. So those who think that these so called literary exchange programmes can bridge the gap between both the countries, are living in a fool's paradise.

Some Bollywood celebrities and intellectuals are of the opinion that art and politics should not be mixed. They say that art has no boundary and artistes from Pakistan are not terrorists. But the point is that if the people of a country endorse a regime which harbours terrorists, then all those people are also terrorists. In Pakistan, people support the Pakistan Army more than they support the civilian government and everyone in the world knows who the real masters of Pakistan are! Thus, all Pakistani citizens should be also isolated and boycotted.

Moreover, since when did Bollywood celebrities become flag bearers of Indian culture? There are bigger superstars like Rajinikant and Kamal Hassan in south whose pictures do much bigger business than Bollywood films throughout the world, without casting Pakistani actors. Are these south superstars enemies of art and culture?

These so called pro-Pakistan Bollywood personalities have nothing to do with art and culture, so forget about cultural exchanges. They only know business and the fine art of money making. They cast Pakistani artistes so that even their average films can do good business in Pakistan and the Middle East. Featuring Pakistani actors is a business tactic and it has nothing to do with art or culture.

In the light of the above, although MNS chief's condition of Rs five crore contribution to the army relief fund for each film featuring Pakistani artist appears to be a ransom, I still feel it's a good idea. If Pakistani actors are inducted for business purposes, they must contribute extra for the martyrs and victims of terror acts.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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