Shabana Azmi always believed the borders between the two warring nations India and Pakistan must not be sealed against cultural exchanges.
But now after the dastardly and gruesome Pulawama attack Shabana feels all communication and exchange with Pakistan must stop.
Says the activist actress, “We will need to call halt to cultural exchange as of now. There is no way we can carry on when our martyrs are laying down their lives are for us. I stand in solidarity with the grieving families.”
Recuperating in hospital from an attack of swine flu she says, “I am filled with pain and grief by the dastardly #Pulwama attack . For the 1st time in all these years I feel weakened in my belief that people to people contact can force the Establishment to do the right thing.Javed and I were invited by Karachi Arts Council for a 2 day event celebrating my fatherKaifi Azmi’s birth centenary. I appreciate that our hosts have mutually agreed to cancel the event at the nth hour in wake of the Pulwama attack . Rekhta has also cancelled their 3 day celebration in Dubai which included a show of our play Kaifi aur Main by IPTA . All Indians stand united as one .”
However she counsels against generating animosity between civilians on both sides. “Let’s not lose sight of the fact that we must not confuse the Pakistan establishment with the people of Pakistan, and vice versa.On both sides of the border there are sisters and brothers who stand divided by circumstances they have had nothing to do with .”
Filmmaker Aditya Dhar whose Uri a film on the gruesome attack on Indian soldiers by Pakistan has created boxoffice havoc , has taken the latest attack very personally. “This attack is truly heartbreaking.I don’t know why but now after having made Uri I am taking this attack very personally.I think our Government needs to take the strongest action to ensure such carnage doesn’t happen again.”
Aditya who at one point in time was contemplating directing a film with Pakistan’s FawadKhan, also feels like Shabana that Pakistan ‘s artistes must be banned in India for now. “Just as Pakistan is being isolated in every way possible the country should be isolated in matters of cultural exchange also. After this latest attack we should sever all ties and stop all communication with Pakistan.”