Raj Thackeray Attacks Salman Khan Over Support For Pakistan Artistes

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Raj Thackeray Attacks Salman Khan Over Support For Pakistan Artistes

MNS' Raj Thackeray attacked Salman Khan for supporting Pakistan artistes work in India. (File)


Mumbai:  Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray today attacked actor Salman Khan for his support for Pakistani artistes working and performing in India.

"I think Salman should go to Pakistan and get a work permit there. Out jawans are dying on the border and all he is worried about is song and dance," Mr Thackeray said.

He warned that the MNS could even consider demanding a ban on Salman Khan's films, if the actor doesn't apologise. The MNS has already threatened to prevent the release of big budget films like Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and Raees which feature Pakistani actors.

"The nation comes first. Otherwise we will have to ban his (Salman Khan) films to teach him a lesson," he added.

On Friday Mr Khan had said that a distinction should be made between Pakistani actors and terrorists from that country.

"Artistes are not terrorists. They come here on a visa, and who gives them that visa? Our government grants them visas," he said.

The issue has also divided the film fraternity with some agreeing with the MNS demand of banning Pakistan artistes from working in Bollywood till relations between the two countries improve. The Indian Motion Picture Producers Association has already imposed a ban on actors from across the border.

"Silence of actors (from Pakistan) on terrorism and not condemning terrorist attacks is a form of terrorism," Ashok Pandit, vice-president of the film body, said.

On the other hand, former IMPPA member Rahul Agarwal gave up his membership in protest against the ban.

"I feel art is above politics, and as the custodians of this art it is our responsibility to bring people together and not divide them," Mr Agarwal wrote in his resignation letter. "We have the responsibility of bringing people of the two countries together and I believe this could have been brought about by strengthening our ties with Pakistani actors of all kinds, and not by banning them," he added.

Actor Kangana Ranaut said that the Uri attack - in which Pakistan based terrorists killed 19 soldiers in an attack on an army camp in Jammu and Kashmir - had shocked the entire nation.

"The country is in mourning, and with the deaths of our jawans it is hard to be objective right now. I hope love and art prevails, but right now we can't expect people to be objective," Ms Ranaut said.

Filmmaker Kiran Rao however said that while terrorism should be condemned, targeting artistes was the wrong approach.

"When we work in a cultural sphere, we don't look at borders. In fact we encourage diversity. Terrorism is wrong, but it would be better to keep artistes into this controversy," Ms Rao said.

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