Bollywood directors these days have no love lost for Pakistan. With inflammatory statements originating from Indian film industry directors such as Kabir Khan, Pakistan has been wary of comments that Indian directors make. However, Mahesh Bhatt recently said that he wished other directors from India would shoot for their films in Pakistani cities such as Lahore, Karachi and Murree.
Bhatt also stated that Bollywood was a common denominator on both sides of the border, hence it was important to keep an atmosphere of peace and love.
“We need to continue to adopt a fierce commitment to maintain love and peace,” he said, whilst speaking to Pakistan India People’s Forum for Peace and Democracy’s (PIPFPD) Sindh Chapter via Skype. “We are in a much better position today than we were before. Bollywood is equally popular on both sides of the border. This is a strong indicator of our collective interests.”
Mahesh Bhatt was also of the view that there is a mindset of hate which does not even sell well at times, since people reject such formulas.
“Our censor board does not issue certificates to films that capitalise on this narrative of hatred,” he said. “Moreover, some of these films have not performed too well on the box office. When hate won’t sell, it will eventually die down.”
Mahesh Bhatt was also of the view that Indians who did not speak out against Pakistan and wished peace with their neighbours, were touted as anti-Indian. “The truth is, India lacks the audacity to undertake such peace initiatives because we choose to play safe,” he added.
Mahesh Bhatt visited Karachi back in April along with his daughter Pooja Bhatt and also spoke at NAPA’s International Theatre Festival. It is nice to hear statements promoting brotherhood, peace and goodwill from an Indian director, especially when both artists from across the border were miffed at each other, owing to Kabir Khan and Saif Ali Khan’s hateful rhetoric.