Send Pak artists back

The government has unnecessarily allowed Salman Khan’s support to Pakistani artists to snowball into a major controversy. In the process, all manner of busybodies have got free publicity.

In its bid to isolate Pakistan globally, the Narendra Modi regime’s approach has to be steadfast and its ambit, comprehensive. In the same way as terror and talks can’t go together, something that Bharatiya Janata Party leaders keep repeating, the expose-terrorist-state project and bilateral cultural relations too cannot be coexist. Therefore, the government should not have let Pakistani artists work in India in the first place.

The visas given to them can be and should be rescinded—for their sake and our own sake. It is well known that there is considerable anger against Pakistan; worse, there are people who want to score brownie points by capitalizing on this anger. One of them is a ruling party leader who has threatened to beat up Pakistani artists.

Imagine he or some other ultra-nationalist actually does it. Such an incident will tarnish the image of our country, making us appear as intolerant goons.

At any rate, permitting actors from across the border to work in our country has already giving enough fillip to the folks like Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray. Earlier, he taunted Salman Khan by asking him to migrate to Pakistan. Now, Thackeray has threatened to ban his movies if he continued to support Pakistani artists: “Jawans are fighting for us at borders. What’ll happen if they decide to put down their weapons? Who’ll guard the borders? Salman Khan? Bollywood? These artists [that is, those like Salman Khan] should realize ‘Nation first.’ If they have so many problems, we will ban their movies too.”

Soldiers will revolt if Pakistani actors perform in Hindi movies! What rant, what cant!

It is time the government sent them back to their country—and save us from the theatrics of jingoists.