Disclaimer: You can call me a Bhakt or a Commie/Presstitude or whatever you feel like after you read this but I will take your comments with a pinch of salt and still say what I have to say.
Before I come to the point of my actual discussion, let me give a quick overview of the two types of people of India in Social Media. There have now emerged two distinct groups of people after the BJP Government has acquired office. One, that is the die-hard BJP fan who thinks everything the Government does is right and is practically infallible. Anything said even in mild protest against the Government gets amounts to disrespecting the Indian army’s valour and how much of disregard that is to the army who have always contributed selflessly. Mind you, this is even when the army is not questioned by the other party. The person expressing an opinion against BJP is naturally termed different names like a Commie, a Sickular or worse anti-national.
The second group is a no holds barred anti-BJP and anything that the government does is anti-people and communal. This group of people will find out the worst from the best exercises done by the government and term it as communal and fascist. They will draw parallels to the 2002 Gujrat riots with every argument they make and never lose an opportunity to call the PM a murderer even if he is talking about a policy of diplomatic isolation of Pakistan globally or is on a tour to broker a deal with a foreign country and has not remotely said anything on Religion. For them, everything the Modi government does is wrong and parties that support BJP are by default wrong as well. They will even support Rahul Gandhi as the PM as a ‘lesser of evils’ because – Gujrat Riots remember?
Amidst the violence rather Social Media violence and intolerance of these two group of people there are certain voices, that support the good of the government as well as protest against them when they are wrong are completely muted in the cacophony of fundamentalism and intellectualism. In my opinion these third group of people are the ones who actually understand how democracy works. But sadly, they are termed anti-national when they condemn the government and Bhakt when they praise the government. You cannot simply be a neutral commentator in our country. Taking sides is a must.
After the Uri attacks there has been growing anger against Pakistan and all that they do to sponsor terror. Pakistan has always taken India as a all talk and no action country which they can plunder with acts of terror. The present government in a fascinating answer to the Uri attacks has conducted a surgical strike and burnt down terror hubs in PoK. Remind you, just terror hubs. No civilian casualty and no War. I don’t think there could been a better answer to shutting up Pakistan and their atrocities. Even in this context our two great Indian groups are at war, One that says Jai Hind and Hail Indian army and the other that thinks this is not the first time this has happened, the government is politicizing this and so on and so forth. They have also demanded proof of surgical strikes(Read: Arvind Kejriwal).
What this has also triggered is a strong protest of boycotting of all things Pakistan. There is a general public mood against Pakistan and I think it is absolutely apt. The boycott however is more prominent against art and culture and Bollywood as that is the softest target and also the most prominent one. Now this is where my point starts. Let me tell you this is entirely my opinion and I am more than willing to debate on this with sane minds. The artists make money from India, pour it into Pakistan by means of taxes and money transfers and other means. This money then becomes the part of the money that Pakistan uses to fund terror. So in a way, these artists are contributing to terror on a macro level and need to be stopped. But there is a rider to it. There should be a date from which the ban should be imposed. This will give the Indian producers a warning as to what not to do from the future. Now when an entire movie is shot and ready to be released, you cannot ban the movie because they have Pak artists. It is a loss to India and Indian Economy and not to Pakistan. The artists have already made money and gone back and are now safely tucked away in Pakistan. With this ban, Indian producers will face massive losses and that will harm Indian economy. Why is this simple fact not understood by the people who are propagating the ban? You are hurting India more in your new found patriotism.
To add to this, the Government still hasn’t banned the visas of any Pakistanis. Not just in art and culture but anywhere. Do we know how many Pakistani nationals are doing business in India? We don’t. We just know about the artists who have anyway fled the country. Its only the group of hard lined people who find issues in everything and blow them out of proportions to stay in the news are the only ones who are going to benefit. I am going to watch Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and Raees as a protest against the stupid people who are inadvertently hurting the Indian producers. However, I am not going to watch any new movies that have Pakistani actors that have gone on the floor after the Uri attacks, Give the producers a warning and then take action. It is like breaking an entire bridge that has been built for years just because you find out one of the constructors was a Pakistani and he hasn’t condemned terrorism. That way you are ruining your own country’s economy and not teaching a lesson to Pakistan. The sooner we realise this, the better it is for us.
Jai Hind. Jai Sanity!