Mumbai, Oct 6 (Calcutta Tube) A group of prominent Mumbaikars and secular activists have strongly condemned the opposition of the state’s two sectarian parties to the presence of Pakistani artistes on Color’s reality show Bigg Boss.
The group also frowned upon the threats issued by Shiv Sena and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena to Colors TV for including two Pakistanis – Veena Malik and Ali Saleem alias Begum Nawazish Ali – in the show and urged the central and state governments to provide them with full security.
Questioning the rationale of the two parties’ opposition to the Pakistanis, the group said that Indian Bollywood movies and television programmes are exported and beamed to entire South Asia and the rest of the world.
‘Hindi movies are immensely popular all over South Asia, including Pakistan, Pakistani artistes are also popular in India and the two countries share a common history,’ the group said in a statement Wednesday.
They listed the contribution of renowned Pakistani artistes like Gulam Ali, Mehndi Hassan, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Faiz Ahmed Faiz and mentioned how the Pakistani contingent at the ongoing Commonwealth Games got a huge applause.
‘Music, art, sports have no boundaries. They are the messengers of peace, friendship and love. We need to promote and encourage exchange of artists. People-to-people contact needs to be promoted as they are the best bet to promote peace,’ the group urged.
They said the idea of claiming Maharashtrian sectarian right over Bollywood is hardly likely to find acceptance in India and South Asia or even in Maharashtra.
‘If the Shiv Sena and MNS have an issue or objection they must first use democratic means to voice their objection and not use goons to force their views upon people,’ they asserted.
The group contended that though these parties claim to represent the people of India, they find little acceptance in Maharashtra and are hated in the rest of the country.
It is ridiculous that the MNS tries to claim patriotism when they beat up innocent Indians on the streets of Mumbai only because they are not Maharashtrians, they said.
This is not for the first time they have threatened Pakistani artistes, earlier also they did the same thing in case of Pakistani comedian Shakeel Siddique.
They appealed to the central and state government to provide complete security to the Pakistani artistes and the team of Colors TV and urged the channel not to succumb to pressures from such elements.
The statement has been signed by – Asad Bin Saif of BUILD, Dolphy D’souza, Bombay Catholic Sabha, Jatin Desai, Pakistan-India Peoples’ Forum for Peace & Democracy (Maharashtra), Kamayani Bali-Mahabal, Lawyer & Human Rights activist, film-maker Mahesh Bhatt, Mazher Hussain of COVA, Hyderabad, Meena Menon, Focus, and Sukla Sen, Ekta (Committee for Communal Amity), Mumbai.