Indians right now, are only concerned with the rising tensions with our friendly neighbor Pakistan.
After the grotesque Uri attacks, in where we lost 18 jawans, India gave back an eye for an eye, by holding an extremely successful surgical attack on the terror camps within Pakistan.
Right now in time, we are at a certain precipice I feel, where we can go one way or another, but whichever path we choose, it will drastically change the world we live in now.
But before that happens, certain events have already occurred, triggering that change.
The most popular would be the ban of Pakistani actors by Indian Motion Picture Producer’s Association (IMPPA) has sent out an official ban on all Pakistani actor for an indefinite time.
Now, let me just say that, I do believe that fundamentally, art and all should be viewed as separate to all this. And that sure, these actors are not the villains here, nor are they to be held accountable for anything.
However, at the same time, taking into consideration the sensitive situation that we as a country are in, and our ties with Pakistan are perhaps the worst till yet, it does make sense to put a stop to most of the trading that we have them.
And that does include the art and cinema industry.
That has apparently not come into the understanding of these people below that I will be mentioning, who are more than fine with using their ‘free speech’ in order say stupid and untimely things right now.
Not that long ago, I wrote an article on free speech, but then there is also a flip side to it.
Which results in people like such, saying things that make us just want to tape their mouths shut.
Here are the few statements that have been making the waves for sometime now:
Om Puri, was recently at a news debate, and while discussing ( I use the term loosly) the recent ban on Pakistani actors, the anchor brought up story of a 24 year old soldier, who was killed in Etawah.
As a response to that Om Puri was quoted saying “Haan to, to… humne usko force kiya tha ki fauj meing jao.”
Yeah… *crickets chirping*
Not his finest moment. He then went on to say something else, which sounded a bit like he was saying that someone of his knowing was in the army too, I am not sure of it.
Defend the ban all you want, sure, but what the hell?
Mr. Puri, why exactly do you think people join the army?
Is it for the 5 star treatment they get, or the bucket loads of money?
I mean, it certainly isn’t out of any patriotism and love for their country, is it?
See, there is good opposition, the one which the ruling party actually fears, since they are so good at pointing out their mistakes.
And then there is Congress.
Senior Congress Leader Sanjay Nirupam, at a recent press conference, tried to use the surgical attacks to bring down the BJP?
“There were three surgical strikes during Congress regime, but we never politicised it. The DGMO never held a press conference to declare it. So, who told the DGMO to convene a press conference in the post-Uri scenario?” Nirupam asked.
“The government has to provide some sort of evidence without compromising national security,” Nirupam added.
Um… is he actually asking for proof of an attack? What exactly would he entail as proof in the first place?
Salman Khan was one of the first ones to get into a controversy over his remarks regarding the Pakistani actor ban.
This is what he said:
“They are artists. We have killed the terrorists. Artists are not terrorists. These are two different subjects. They come to our country after acquiring visa, and it’s our government who allows them with the work permit in our country.”
Continuing, he also commented on the tensions between the two nations saying, “[The] ideal situation would have been love and peace, but now it has happened, so obviously it was a reaction to some people’s action. In this day and age, I feel handling things with love and peace would have been better, especially for common people. But after Uri attacks, it seems (like) proper action because they were terrorists.”
And, I can’t believe I am saying this, but for the first time, Salman Khan was not entirely wrong in his statements. What he said was very well worded, no arguments there, here are some problems that arose because of when he said it:
- Ill- Timed:
This time, what Salman said was not wrong per say, however it was ill-timed.
In this period, where are soldiers are fighting for our country, while having very recently lost their fellow soldiers in a brutal way, it seems unsightly to be defending a ban on actors.
Right now, our support and solidarity should be with our country and our soldiers.
Show them that their work and sacrifices are not in vain, and that we will stand by them and show that it is not just you working towards protecting the country.
When national sentiment demands support for soldier, then this statement was very incorrectly timed.
- Open Letter By Major Gaurav Arya:
Major Gaura Arya very eloquently and sincerely put forth an open letter of why the ban is not that wrong.
Not sure if I would still go with the ban, but I do agree with his question of that, is Fawad Khan or Rahat Fateh Ali Khan or any other Pakistani actor more important than the soldiers who have staked their life at risk, just to protect us?
In such a time, is it not just, that we too give up certain things and show our support to the nation?
Is that truly so much to ask?
Signing off, I would just like to say that, this matter is nothing to get so emotional about. When countries are not in agreement with each other and are on the brink of a war, then it is completely normal for business, economic and cultural ties to be affected.
And last but not the least that, free speech is perfectly fine, but perhaps the need of the hour is to try and make everyone understand on how to use it correctly.
Not just use it as a garb to say whatever and whenever without thinking twice.
Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.