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04 March 2024

Bollywood goes 'global with Pakistani, Lankan, Bangladeshi artists

Artists from different countries make Bollywood the hunting grownd. (L-R) Actress Sara Loren, Veena Malik and Jacqueline Fernandez. (Supplied)

By Lipika Varma/Sanskriti Media & Entertainment

Bollywood’s star power has lured many Pakistani artists to give up their flourishing career in Pakistan and move base to India.
Over the years Mumbai film industry saw many aspiring actors come from different corners of India to get a foot-hold in Bollywood.
Times have changed and now, not only Indians but many other nationalities throng Bollywood to shine on the silver screen.
Filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt has been instrumental in recruiting many of these Pakistani artists.
“I find no harm in giving a chance to those who are talented. They could be from anywhere on the globe. How many Pakistani persons participate in our films? There was one Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Ali Zafar and now it is Sara who is a Dubai resident.
"I am sure they are a handful only. Have we not given a chance to Jacqueline Fernandez who belongs to Sri Lanka and we had also given a chance to James who was from Bangladesh?”
Bhatt goes on to ask, “Should we encourage the controversial state of affairs that have occurred in the past like bombings on bus tops or trains? We belong to the film fraternity. In fact love and normalcy needs to prevail against all odds. Yes! We have recognized talent from all over the globe. I see no reason to believe that if we share a morsel with our neighbouring country we deprive Indian talent.
"Indian talent is always there and has proved itself time and again. Everyone in general has the right to work but the political infringement creates debate able situation. In general people do not care for this at all. Exchanging talent culturally brings greater satisfaction.
"According to me Mahatma Ghandhi also liked to share a cordial relationship with the Pakistanis and for me no one is greater patriot than him.”
Coming to his choice of film making he says, “I always chose to go for with the real stories while filmmaking. I remember when I made a film like ‘Awarapan’ people did not appreciate it initially. Also when I started introducing music to a greater extent it was a matter of discussion in the fraternity. But our films garner appreciation along with the music. Music is the backbone of our films.”
Coming to ‘Murder3’ he says, “‘Murder’ is the major departure. The treatment in ‘Murder 3’ is bold but it is being put forth with a pinch of emotions. Women have always taken the centre stage in my films.”
Adding about acceptance of homosexuality he says, “People criticized ‘Tamanna’ although it was a critically acclaimed film. How many years it took for our society to accept homosexuality? Earlier it was considered taboo and a crime. Finally people have realized that such guys too are the natural creations of God and they should be allowed to live openly.”
Commenting on his social work he says, “Just for your reference with the help of Iqbal Hyder Saab I acquitted about 432 fishermen folk from Pakistan and am involved in doing many other socially relevant things from time to time.”
“On the whole I make films to give something to the industry. Then it doesn’t matter who I give a chance to. Someone from here or someone form another country.”
The filmmaker was all praises for his heroines in ‘Murder 3’ Mahesh Bhatt says, “Aditi (Rao Hyadri) has an aura of self pride. We see the emotions oozing out of her persona. She is really very keen on giving her best. She has made her own identity. Also has the capability of assembling her talent in a new way.”
He goes on to add about Sara Lore, “Unfortunately ‘Kajrare’ could not be released but Sara has the experience of having shot for 60 to 70 days. She is talented also is an assimilation of a wonderful persona.”