In the wake of Uri terror attack, the Raj Thackeray-led MNS asked Pakistani actors to leave the country immediately, failing which the shooting of their movies will be stalled.
MNS issued an open letter and questioned Bollywood producers and production houses over their decision to cast Pakistani actors in their films. Taking a jibe at MNS, director Hansal Mehta tweeted, "MNS for next central govt. In one master stroke they have solved the India Pakistan problem. After all it is artistes who provoke attacks."
Vikram Bhatt said India should push for declaring Pakistan as a terrorist state than involving actors into the situation because that will "trivialise" the issue. "We should concentrate on making sure that Pakistan is declared a terrorist state. That should be our effort.
This (asking Pak actors to leave) is like trivialising the issue whether artists or cricket should be allowed nor not.
"How does that matter? What matters is that people are dying, we have been constantly suffering. And the only thing we do is ban artists!" he said. When asked if he thinks Pakistani artistes, working here, should take a stand on the Uri attack, Bhatt said, "I expect them to take a stand but can they do that?
They are actors, creative people, not activists. "I don't think they can go back if they are going to talk against the terrorist outfits in Pakistan. They would surely fear for their lives, might as well become Indian citizens then. I think they would really fear for their safety."
Film critic Mayank Shekhar said culture is apolitical and when government of India has given permission to Pakistani actors to work here, any other political outfit should not "spread fear" among people. "Something which is cultural is by nature apolitical.
But if it does become political as in this particular case, then that is the political decision that the authorities need to take. It can't be any particular outfit deciding to issue a diktat and everyone living under the fear of what they would do or would not do," he told a news channel.