Muslims are always portrayed as the enemy in Indian films: Sanam Saeed

Actor talks mixing art with politics in latest interview

Entertainment Desk January 16, 2023

After Sidharth Malhotra latest starrer Mission Majnu released its first official trailer, fans were quick to point out the inaccurate portrayal of Muslims in Indian cinema. In a recent conversation with Brut India, Sanam Saeed also shared her two cents on Bollywood's habit of stereotyping Muslims and highlighting them "as the enemy" in films.

"Of course, we always make fun of how Muslims are portrayed in Indian films with the kajal and namaz cap, and the green in the back somewhere. This is how we are shown that this is a Muslim person or it's a Muslim community. And this gets too political but they have always been highlighted as the enemy," expressed the Cake star.

She then opined that in real life the relationships between Pakistani and Indian artists are quite wholesome. "I don't think I've seen many projects where the two nations are friends and collaborating together, unlike in reality where collaborations are happening at every level."

In the three-minute clip, Saeed revealed she was disappointed when the Uri attack of 2016 resulted in Pakistani artists being banned from India. "We were baffled, I think at the time it was a shock. When the cross-border exchange was happening it was exciting and about time, and it felt really exhilarating, liberating and finally complete that these two hubs of culture and creativity and art were collaborating for greater stuff. And when the ban happened suddenly it was a bit of a rude awakening," stated the Zindagi Gulzar Hai actor.

Despite the challenges, Saeed then went on to highlight how artists from both nations are still trying to collaborate. "Why mix art with culture and politics? It's tragic but I think we all have now gotten over this. It is what it is. You can't fight it. You can't really do anything about it except for stuff like this interview. Despite the ban, I think we all are still trying to make our way and work around it."

Upon being asked about Mahira Khan's hesitation to star again in Indian films, Saeed emphasised how difficult the ban in India was for The Legend of Maula Jatt stars. She said, "At the time of the ban, Fawad and Mahira got the brunt of it, so I'm sure they are nervous and scared because of how they were treated. I completely understand why Mahira would be nervous as it was a tough exit for them."

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