The Bombay High Court has dismissed a plea attempting to bar Pakistani artists from working in India. The petition, initiated by Faaiz Anwar Qureshi, a member of the film industry and an artist, had called on the Indian government to prevent artists from Pakistan, encompassing actors, musicians, singers, lyricists, and technicians, from engaging in collaborations or employment within India.

India’s Ban On Pakistani Actors

As per reports, the plea referred to the resolution adopted by the All-Indian Cine Workers Association (AICWA) following the Pulwama attacks. As well as parallel resolutions by the Indian Motion Pictures Producers Association (IMPPA) and the Federation of Western Indian Cine Employees (FWICE). These resolutions called for the exclusion of Pakistani artists from the Indian film industry. Furthermore, the MNS Cinema Wing, established by Raj Thackeray, cautioned filmmakers against engaging Pakistani artists.

Image source: expresstribune

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The Verdict 

A division bench comprising Justice Sunil B. Shukre and Justice Firdosh P. Pooniwalla emphatically expressed that the petition was deemed a “backward move in fostering cultural harmony, unity, and peace” and found no merit in it.

Advocate Vibhav Krishna, on behalf of the petitioner, contended that allowing Pakistani artists to work in India could result in bias against Indian artists. He argued that the favorable treatment offered to Pakistani artists in India is not mirrored for Indian artists in Pakistan. According to Krishna, the ban is crucial to prevent the potential exploitation of commercial opportunities by Pakistani artists in India. This might deprive Indian artists of equivalent opportunities.

Emphasizing the concept that art knows no boundaries and has the power to unite people, the court underlined that being a patriot doesn’t require harboring hostility toward individuals from foreign nations, even neighboring ones. They contended that a genuine patriot is someone who is altruistic, dedicated to their country, and a person of goodwill.

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