Kabhi certification, Kabhi ban? An open letter to Cinema goers

 

‘Ae Dil hai mushkil jeena yaahan, Zara hat ke, Zara bach ke , yeh hai India meri Jaan’

As I watch the drama unfold between cinema owners association and  Dharma productions for the release of their block buster film Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, I have a bigger fundamental issue with the IMPPA’s proposed ban ( Indian Motion Pictures Producers Association ) and I wonder on what ground are they banning the services of any Pakistani actor, technician, director or musician?

Are they, like Donald Trump ( His campaign advocates an anti- muslim, instead of anti-terrorist drive)  implying that any and all Pakistan citizens are to be blamed for the recent attacks on Indian soldiers?  Were these creative folk on the border trying to infiltrate into our territory? Are they to be penalised for the decisions taken by 10 people in their government?

Are we all behaving emotionally ?- Yes

Are we behaving immaturely? -Yes

Are we trying to protect our soldiers? -Yes

But is this the nation we want to be known for?

Is this the political and cinematic legacy that we want to leave for generations to come?

Now that’s something we need to decide individually.

Wars are fought on borders. Politics is played at the diplomatic level. Finanical crashes are orchestrated on industrial level.  Cinema is the only form of communication that is pure and oblivious to world matters.

Banning an Indian film, does not make a dent on the Pakistani administration who ordered the attack, it makes no difference to the Pakistani soldiers who executed the order on the borders and it makes no difference to the Pakistani economy.

What it does do- financially cripple the Indian producer, sabotage the Indian actors spirit and effectively kill the Indian Director’s labour of love.

So who are we trying to punish here?

I hoped though, as missionary of the arts, the film associations would have stood up to members asking for such childish bans, that they would have been mature enough to isolate the 2 incidents.

Attacks on borders need to be responded to with military action, Attacks on businesses needs to be addressed with financial action, Attacks on religion need to be responded to with religious repercussions.

As citizens of the world’s largest democracy, we have the right to express our views, but it is paramount that we do not let it cloud our professional commitments.

As for Karan Johar, kuch kuch hota hai, par kabhi alvida na kehna….

-Mansi Mehta

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