In what comes as a major shock for the so-called liberals who used to preach that art does not have any boundaries, Pakistani artists have started spewing venom against India after abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution of India. These artists include those who have earned crores by working in India and enjoying flourishing careers on our side of the border. Pakistan, being a country dominated by its Army and terror establishment, never really had a vibrant entertainment industry. Therefore, the only option left with these artists was to exploit the sentiment of so-called liberals and peacenicks in India.
Even after Indo-Pak relations deteriorated on account of cross-border terrorism fomented by Pakistan against India, Bollywood veterans like Mahesh Bhatt and Salman Khan that art has got nothing to do with terrorism and politics. In early 2017, Salman Khan had come to support of Pakistani actors and had said that they were artists and not terrorists. Bhatt had also stressed in April 2017 that artists of both the nations must have the right to work across the borders.
It must be noted that the Pakistani actors who were enthusiastically defended by the Bollywood bigwigs have now shown their true colours by making unsavoury comments about abrogation of Article 370. In an outrageous tweet, Atif Aslam, Pakistan-based singer, and whose songs were included in several Bollywood movies, has now written an embittered post about India. In his post which he shared on twitter, he said, “Happy to share something very big with all of you. Inshallah I’ll be leaving soon for the most important journey of my life. Before departing for Hajj, I would like to ask for everyone’s forgiveness, be it fans, family, friends. Apologies for hurting anyone’s sentiments. kindly keep me in your prayers Also I strongly condemn the violence and tyranny being conducted against the Kashmiris. May Allah bless lives of the innocent in #Kashmir and all over the world. #AtifAslam #Aadee #Aadeez.” For Atif Aslam, art does have boundaries. He is a Pakistani first and artist second. He remains loyal to Pakistan even if that means lying and spreading fake news about imaginary “violence and tyranny being conducted against the Kashmiris”.
If Atif Aslam’s post reeked of xenophobia and communal hatred, Veena Malik, former Indian reality show contestant who now acts like a psychotic twitter troll was far more blunt and egregious in her reaction about the abrogation of Article 370. She tweeted, “India violated all international laws by using cluster bomb and using military force against the innocent Kashmiris. For 70 years India has failed to suppress Kashmiris, India’s reincarnation of Hitler; Modi be a fool to think he can by force defeat Kashmir cause today #Article370.”
Veena Malik, therefore, not only indulged in fake news peddling about use of cluster bombs, a lie that was first circulated by Pakistan Army spokesperson, Major General Asif Ghafoor. The way she has labelled Modi as “India’s reincarnation of Hitler”, displays her anti-India hatred as well as her ignorance. She can’t be blamed for her ignorance though. Being a Pakistani citizen she has lived in a military and terror dictatorship all her life. She can’t really be expected to make much sense on this issue and that is primarily why she is acting more like a typical Pakistani troll when it comes to her views about India.
Another Pakistani artist, who has worked in Bollywood tweeted, “Have we conveniently blocked what we don’t want to address? This is beyond lines drawn on sand, it’s about innocent lives being lost! Heaven is burning and we silently weep. #Istandwithkashmir #kashmirbleeds.”
It is clear that even she pursued the Kashmir agenda which is a foremost priority in Pakistan. Even though normalcy has returned to Kashmir and the region is headed towards development, such Pakistani actors have started acting as trolls and have relentlessly pursued the Pakistani agenda against India.
These Pakistani artists have clearly proven that at least in the case of India and Pakistan, art does have boundaries and they are standing firm with their side of the boundary.