Salman Khan vs Pakistanis in India

Published: September 15, 2010

The writer is an Indian author and columnist farzana.versey@tribune.com.pk

Before questioning Salman Khan about speaking to Pakistani news channel Express 24/7, since they have blocked Indian channels, the Shiv Sena should first ask why Veena Malik is to participate in “Bigg Boss” or Wasim Akram and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan can judge reality shows. This is not the main argument against Salman. As we have not had any major attacks since then, we are stuck on 26/11. He said what some of us wrote about right then about the hype “because elite people were targeted. Attacks have happened in trains and small towns too, but no one talked about it so much”.

He is right. He went wrong when he exonerated the Pakistani government, adding: “Our security had failed. We have had a lot of attacks earlier, and all of them were not from Pakistan. They were from within also.”

The security issue has been discussed in the Indian media and a PIL (public interest litigation) was filed by the Anti-Terrorism Squad chief Hemant Karkare’s widow. Salman should not have said what he did because he is not qualified. However, does this make him anti-national? We have had political leaders who hobnob with unsavoury characters who look the other way while people create fissures within the country. More importantly, why are only the Khans asked about these terrorist attacks? I would like to get the opinion of Akshay Kumar or Aishwariya Rai on this issue. Besides, do these actors represent the Indian Muslim population?

Curiously, the moral police did not object when Nandita Das took her debut movie, Firaq, on the Gujarat riots, to the Kara Film Festival where it received the best film award. Yet she stated, quite unnecessarily: “People were saying that the Indian media has been attacking Pakistan and making sweeping statements that were unfair. They don’t sympathise with Kasab at all. They called him a Kasai.’’ Did she not expose chinks in our armour and act as unsolicited diplomatic courier?

Those asking Salman to apologise were mum when Adnan Sami contacted top Pakistani leaders over threats received regarding his marital issues. He said it was to ensure that the wrong people were not accused. Had there been a serious attempt on his life, on what grounds could the government of his country of origin point fingers at India?

Even parties like the Shiv Sena that demand “outsiders” like Biharis and UPites should be thrown out of the city treat these celebrities with kid gloves. It is about protecting commercial interests.

Veena Malik is already throwing attitude that the other 12 contestants be selected carefully, “so that they are up to my level”. Unfortunately, the channel as well as the media, and by default many viewers, will be taken in by the buildup and assume this human laundromat is important. Singer-actor Ali Zafar reveals professional selfishness when he talks about moving to India for better prospects: “My first home is Lahore. But I’d like to make Mumbai my second home … I feel singers and other artistes should be exempt from politics.”

The hostility that he finds unbearable affects him precious little in the studios where he can record for Bollywood films. Has he seen the pain of those faced with jingoistic revulsion only due to their nationality on both sides of the border?

Salman Khan may get away with a temporary ban on Dabanng that will up its value and make him a ‘munna ho gaya badnam’-level martyr. Others are not as lucky. And a note for Ali Zafar: Forget a second home, many do not have even one home in our countries.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 15th, 2010.

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Reader Comments (28)

  • Sep 15, 2010 - 12:27PM

    niceRecommend

  • Sep 15, 2010 - 12:32PM

    The writer is absolutely right.We need to be very careful while making any comment.We still carry the bad baggage of history on our backs.Lets be reasonable,cool while evaluating the crisis.Any solution to our current problems is yet not in site,lets hope and pray the sanity will prevail any sooner.The people of Sub-continent need a break,have so many problems at our hands already.Hope our leadership would under stand and act in most rational manner. Recommend

  • g
    Sep 15, 2010 - 1:24PM

    Very well written; an eye opener for people like Ali Zafar and Veena Malik.Recommend

  • Pankaj
    Sep 15, 2010 - 1:53PM

    Pakistani ARTISTS are NOT welcome in India.
    There is no shortage of Indian actors.

    Pakistani artists can work for a couple of films but they will NEVER be accepted fully.Recommend

  • Sep 15, 2010 - 2:40PM

    quite right at most of the part but its not true for all of india…hatred is more of a political thing… lot of indians love the other side of the border…. Recommend

  • Salman Raza
    Sep 15, 2010 - 5:53PM

    A very well thought our article. The Indian views was depicted quite skillfully. Bash the Pakistanis and protect your own. I guess that was that was the motto of the article.

    However I do agree with the author when she says such question of “Indianess” are not put forward to other artists and actors (read Hindu) on sensitive issues, and even if they do, they wont have a hard time putting the blame on Pakistan.

    Putting the pros and cons of the above article behind, its a prime example of the often myopic and embedded view of most Indian journalists for whom exonerating Pakistan of any charge is considered blasphemy. Such an article with a pro-Pakistan slant will never appear in an indian media outlet, so salute to our media for being objective and accomodating to all points of views. Recommend

  • Tilsim
    Sep 15, 2010 - 6:09PM

    “Besides, do these actors represent the Indian Muslim population?”

    I think for Hindu nationalists (not the same as Indian nationalists) the answer is yes. It’s a case of guilt by association. They are always looking for ways to suggest that Muslims are disloyal or do not belong to the holyland of India. It has it’s basis in the Hindutva ideology of Veer Savarkar. It goes to the credit and courage of these actors that they push back against this nonsense without having themselves killed in the process.Recommend

  • Muhajir
    Sep 15, 2010 - 6:18PM

    @Salman Reza, this author always take such views even in the Indian media. She does not like most things Indian and most things Pakistani and most things Umreeki.Please Ms Versey what do you like?? Salman Khan says Hindu prayers so he cant represent Indian Muslims and you write about atheism. Ali Zafar is v popular in Pakistan already and is invited to Bollywood.Recommend

  • Sep 15, 2010 - 6:52PM

    Pakistan bashing again. Farzana Varsey, we don’t need your “precious insights” about us either you know. Recommend

  • Patriotic
    Sep 15, 2010 - 6:55PM

    shame on youRecommend

  • Dhanya
    Sep 15, 2010 - 7:16PM

    I think there is no need for Pakistani artists to work in India. Pakistanis have a different culture. They can work in their Lollywood. We don’t like any Pakistanis here. Salman Khan is loved by millions of people in India. We still love him. He had apologized to the nation about whatever he said in the Pak tv. There is no issue now. Please don’t make it an issue. You are having some serious problems like flood where millions of people starving and dying. Please concentrate on problems of general public in Pakistan.Recommend

  • nusrat
    Sep 15, 2010 - 7:41PM

    Does the Pak. Tribune afford writing priveleges to non – Muslim Indian journalists?Recommend

  • Shez
    Sep 15, 2010 - 7:44PM

    You didn’t drive home the points well. But, you are right when you insinuated that the conditions of common Indian Muslims and their loyalties are still being questioned. That’s a great shame. Racism and religious fissures will never let India to become a super power. It may achieve some superficial magnanimity but two-thirds of its dirt poor populace will implode this wrong facade.Recommend

  • Ahsan
    Sep 15, 2010 - 7:52PM

    As if Salman Khan and Veena Malik are the 2 biggest crises that our nation is experiencing right now..Who really cares about them when we are having nearly 20 million homeless to deal with??Recommend

  • Salman Raza
    Sep 15, 2010 - 7:54PM

    Well said Mr. Dhanya

    You have some serious problems there like poverty, ppl still pushing cycle rickshaws and hand rickshaws. Atleast 20 killed in kashmir, slums as big as cities in Pakistan. Please focus on real issues. Your media and politician keep u entertained by giving u a real mix of ISI, Dus ka dum, indian idol and now that chote ustad, you can never focus on real issues.

    So please get rid of you hand rickshaws first then focus on Pakistan. Recommend

  • BLAH BLAH
    Sep 15, 2010 - 7:55PM

    Lets be honest…the only reason anyone has interest in India is because its a population of 1.2 billion. There is such a large population and a large purchasing power. Most of India is incredibly poor but even if 5-10% of the people have money to spend that is more than 95% of the countries in the world. So even the companies, auto industry(the 1000 dollar car), real estate, entertainment field and even these pakistani entertainers wants a piece of the pie. They could never make that much money from a relatively smaller country. india is huge, its poor but its huge.

    essentially…indians need to be in realityRecommend

  • BLAH BLAH
    Sep 15, 2010 - 7:57PM

    Ali Zafar just wants some $$$. He is actually smart and that all that matters Recommend

  • Sep 15, 2010 - 8:31PM

    Shame on u al.what kind of people are u?we need peace.and films r best way to that!we should forget abt hindustani and pakistani stuffs,and should welcome talent,no matter to wiz country they belong!i simply love ali zaffar,rahat shab n atif aslam.we r after al new generation man,stop thinking like stupied oldies!Recommend

  • Sep 16, 2010 - 3:14AM

    well some time you can’t hide truth so it came out from the mouth of salu khan mouth truth is truth but you can’t trust hindus whatever the khan’s are doing in india will be kicked out cause they are muslim all world is using muslims so it’s happening Recommend

  • Sep 16, 2010 - 3:16AM

    sania in which world you do u live be realistic Recommend

  • Sagacious
    Sep 16, 2010 - 5:26AM

    Farzana Versey, Come on be rational. So many Canadians go to American and work in Hollywood but we hardly know that since there is no such issues of Pak Indo discrimination. Everyone is proud of their country but every country needs Love and neighboring love. Look at EU despite of differences they are together. Human is human.. don’t politicize your article and show that you are one of the skin heads ( like in UK) in India. What a waste? Be proud but don’t be arrogant of your media. Recommend

  • Tom
    Sep 16, 2010 - 7:52AM

    good thought.. and all those who don’t like this, they are just fools and narrow minded! Shame on them.. Just open up and try to accept the reality!Recommend

  • sakhunzai
    Sep 16, 2010 - 11:51AM

    What beautiful words :

    “treat with kid gloves”
    “professional selfishness”

    wow , that make me laugh. We Pakistanis are really shameless, selfish people.We always find ourself in wrong company everywhere in the world. Instead of labeling sth with “Made in Pakistan” we love to write “Made in China/UK/US/India”. We sell our souls for money.Listen to me Pakistanis , listen , Pakistan is the only place were you will get peace and shelter, its the only land which is bearing your burden on its shoulders.

    For above writer I would say , very ignorant and biased picture sketched when talking about the Indian side. I don’t remember Shiv Shina wearing “kid gloves” while beaten Shan-e-Shakeel . I do remember Abhijeet praising Atif Aslam for his talent

    http://www.themuzicworld.com/2008/07/abhijeet-insulting-atif-aslam-video.html

    summing up I would say shame on all the Pakistani artists who can only shine in India.Recommend

  • sakhunzai
    Sep 16, 2010 - 11:58AM

    For the “New Generation” stuff I would say its another name for “Bahaghirati Virus”. We cannot learn humanitarianism from our Holy Books but only learn from ‘Movies’.Recommend

  • Ahsan
    Sep 16, 2010 - 1:44PM

    Peace is developed by understanding each other and working together towards a noble cause..ITs not achieved by watching vulgar movies of both sides of the border…n these ppl are just working for their money and exposure…Meera and Ali Zafar didnt go there for peace…Fast bucks is what we are all afterRecommend

  • Adnan Tariq
    Sep 16, 2010 - 11:16PM

    Finally a goo…. oh.. i mean great article…….. nice work.. Recommend

  • Oct 14, 2010 - 2:10PM

    In the Entire Article i could feel Jealousy and nothing else. Talking about Choote Ustaad it is a Game played to present a Good Image of India in front of the entire world. If an Indian directors Casts Ali Zafar in his Movie then he earns 10 times more if he had casted Shahrukh Khan in the film just because people are curious to see what role is a Pakistani Playing in an Indian Movie. I think Indians are so insecure of Pakistan that they have started alleging Pakistan and Pakistani People and to surprise even those sensible people who have enough wisdom that they are speaking truth and supporting Pakistan.. Recommend

  • Zehra A. Farooqui
    Oct 17, 2010 - 9:58PM

    I dont understand why we often hear Indians hating the onslaught of Pakistani artists in their industry. Its basic economics at work here. Since they have demand in India, they are needed to produce work there as well! Thousands of Indians secretly listen to Atif Aslam sing on their stereos yet they just have to pronounce open hatred for the same. Not quite a mature approach, and a very insecure one too. Indian has-been artists openly criticize Pakistani talent on their silly singing competitions- all because their jobs have been snatched. Anyways, my point is, There have gotta be enough people listening to or watching our people that propels Indians to invite them. No artist can lurk all the way to India without support from there.

    So stop being so insecure, and be thankful that it is benefiting your industry at a time when your own music isnt so wow. Recommend

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