India’s CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) was the target of one of the deadliest militant attacks on the other side of the border yesterday. In the town of Pulwama in the Indian-Occupied Kashmir, a local boy named Adil Dar rammed his explosive-filled vehicle into the bus carrying the reserve police personnel.
Over 40 CRPF personnel lost their lives in the attack while around the same number are facing fatal injuries. According to Indian media, the Kashmir centric proscribed organisation, Jaish-e-Mohammad, claimed the responsibility of the attack and even released the video of the suicide bomber.
Instead of discussing their security lapse, Indian authorities and media are blaming certain elements in Pakistan. This has been resulting in the rise of tensions between the two countries and also the already pretty popular anti-Pakistan sentiment in India.
Films and Art Under Threat
Although a lot of voices even from within India are calling for the need to revisit their own extremist policies that have led to this moment, there is a growing anti-Pakistan sentiment too.
Fuelled by the Indian government’s rhetoric that Pakistan is behind the attack, the hatred is on the rise. A lot of this is visible on Twitter where a lot of people are expressing their anger.
And like always, arts and entertainment have become the first victims of this rage. Just hours after the attack, certain sections from across the border have started calling for the ban on “entertaining Pakistan.”
Indian movie business analyst and editor of Complete Cinema, Atul Mohan in a tweet after the attack urged the filmmakers to stop their films from being exhibited in Pakistan and said that time has come for trade associations and film studios and producers to take a stand.
Time has come to stop entertaining Pakistan. My urge to government, trade associations, studios, producers to take stand & stop releasing films there. Will #TotalDhamaal take the lead? @PMOIndia @MIB_India @Ra_THORe @ShivSena @RajThackeray @foxstarhindi @ajaydevgn @ashokepandit
— Atul Mohan (@atulmohanhere) February 15, 2019
Following the suit, an Indian journalist posted a poll where he asked his followers to vote on whether Pakistan should be allowed to make money with Indian films.
Do you think releasing Indian films in Pakistan and making money and allowing them to make money is right?
— S Ramachandran (@indiarama) February 15, 2019
The results of the poll, as of now, are 61 percent in favour of the option “No.”
In the aftermath of the attack, famous Indian poet and lyricist, Javed Akhtar, also tweeted and announced that he and his wife Shabana Azmi wouldn’t be coming to Karachi where they were scheduled to participate in a literature conference on Kaifi Azmi.
Kranchi art council had invited. Shabana and me for a two day lit conference about Kaifi Azmi and his poetry . We have cancelled that . In 1965 during the indo Pak war Kaifi saheb had written a poem . “ AUR PHIR KRISHAN NE ARJUN SE KAHA “
— Javed Akhtar (@Javedakhtarjadu) February 15, 2019
Similarly, other Indian celebrities including Vishal Bharadwaj and Rekha Bharadwaj are scheduled to attend Shaan-e-Pakistan music event happening in Lahore late next month. If the situation worsens between the two nations, the participation of this Indian delegation can get cancelled too.
The same can happen to another arts and film festival happening in New Delhi later this month, where celebrities like Mahira Khan, Humayun Saeed, and Ali Zafar were expected to make the appearance.
The anger in India is on the rise, and we have the example of the ban on Pakistani celebrities in the aftermath of Uri Attack that this anger only falls on either cricket or arts. This is mainly due to the fact that both are easy targets and make the biggest headlines to satisfy the riled up public in India.