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September 22, 2016

Indian journalist asks Fawad Khan to leave India


September 22, 2016

Filmstar’s supporters lash out at newsman

LAHORE: Due to turn 35 in November, celebrated Pakistani actor Fawad Afzal Khan, who is making waves in India since 2014 and is today acknowledged as one of the most-wanted hunk in Bollywood, has been asked by an Indian journalist to pack up and go home.

Just days after the attack at a military base in Indian-Occupied Kashmir, a Bollywood journalist, Soumyadipta Banerjee, has also urged his country’s film makers to ban Fawad Khan, who was bracing up to appear opposite Katrina Kaif in Karan Johar’s next movie titled “Raat Baaki.”

Having already shared screen with top Bollywood actresses like Sonam Kapoor, Depeeka Padukone and Alia Bhatt etc, Fawad was the first Pakistani actor to host the International Indian Film Academy Awards (IIFA), the Bollywood equivalent of Oscars, in Madrid this year.

Indian film journalist Soumyadipta Banerjee’s letter titled “Dear Fawad Khan. It’s time. Go back to Pakistan” has been highlighted by a section of his country’s media.

Here follows the text of his letter:

“Dear Fawad Khan,

At the outset, let me clarify that I am not singling you out. I am merely addressing this letter to you because you are the most famous Pakistani import to Bollywood.

By addressing you, I want to talk to every Pakistani import to Bollywood. This letter could have well been addressed to Adnan Sami, Raahat Fateh Ali Khan, Mahira Khan… the list is endless and keeps increasing every year.

Fawad, I don’t think you can deny how much love we have showered on you over the past few years. We have given you more money in two years than what you could have possibly earned in Pakistan in 10 years. We have given you recognition that you would have never been able to earn sitting in Karachi. We made you act in great movies, we helped you endorse brands. And hey, we also made you a bigger star in Pakistan.

Though you are a supporting male lead in Bollywood movies, you are now a mega superstar in Pakistan.

We are proud of what we have done for you. We know that you have acknowledged it numerous times. You have spoken with gratefulness about the love and hospitality that we have shown to you. Though you keep mum about the money, you have earned here, we know that you are grateful to India for showering you with wealth too. Thank you for acknowledging that. You are welcome.

I don’t know about others, I used to be very vocal about the fact that culture knows no boundaries and that there should be free exchange of artistes between India and Pakistan. Me and few of my friends supported and patronised the fact that India and Pakistan should collaborate for projects, specially when it comes to cinema. We recognise that cinema is one of the strongest forms of dialogue that can go a long way in forming public opinion across borders which will facilitate the peace process between the neighbours. Not anymore.

Dear Fawad, whatever we have mentioned earlier is being done by us. India. Your country is doing just the opposite. We talk about dialogues but this is just becoming a monologue of peace from India.

We give you so much love and money, but your country continues to ban our cinema and our artistes.

We drool over you and give you some of our best projects. Your country dreams of creating a Bollywood on their own. We are thinking of collaboration while your country talks of division and isolation.

Our country knows that your country’s television serials are far better than us (in quality that is, we always had more money though) but your country’s government have prevented us from working with you there too.

Your country is mad about Bollywood movies but end up supporting piracy because most of the Bollywood movies are illegally downloaded in Pakistan. Bollywood movie piracy has only grown in Pakistan over the years.

All this never really mattered to us in the past. As I said earlier, we were only concerned about a free and fair cultural exchange no matter what is happening at our borders or how violence is being incited in Kashmir by your government backed Jihadi groups.

The water is flowing over our heads now, Fawad.

We have watched in pain how you have chosen to look away when your country is inflicting pain on us.

We are letting you laugh all the way to your bank account in Karachi while our soldiers are bleeding in Uri, Kashmir.

You have chosen to keep quiet about us, our suffering and our death in the hands of your Mujahideen army. While we have given you only love, you have given us silence and that cute, dimpled smile of yours. 

Sorry Fawad, cultural exchanges cannot happen over dead bodies of our soldiers. We cannot shake hands with your country when their hands are covered in blood of our own countrymen.

We know that you have a lot of support from Indians who would pamper you in isolation. We don’t blame them as they have invested money on you and wouldn’t want to lose it. We also know that you have yet another Bollywood big release coming up shortly.

Fawad, you lack courage. You lack conviction. You lack the guts to stand up against the Jihadists of your country who think they are serving God by killing us.

Finish what you are doing Fawad and then do us a favour by going back to Pakistan. You see, what you have earned here is enough to last a lifetime. Go when the time is good and don’t wait for people to boycott you. Don’t wait for movies to crash at the box office because you are there in it.

Let’s part as friends, Fawad. It doesn’t matter if you have failed to respond to the favours we have done to you and your colleagues from Pakistan.

We wish you all the best and pray that someday you will have the courage to rise above boundaries and speak for what is right. We wish that someday you will stand with us because you earned your bread on our soil.

Take care and let us know when you are getting your air tickets to Karachi done. We plan to give you a grand farewell.

With deep regards,

Your ardent Indian fan.”

Although Banerjee has already received a backlash from Fawad Khan’s Indian supporters on various social networking websites like Twitter, the Pakistani actor is yet to receive support from his renowned Bollywood colleagues.

It is worth recalling that in 2015, when fascist Indian political party “Shiv Sena” had said that it would not allow any Pakistani actor, cricketer or performer to step on Maharashtra’s soil and had sought a ban on Pakistani actors like Fawad and Mahira Khan, an eminent Bollywood actor Sidharth Malhotra had stepped in to lend his support to Fawad.

Malhotra was then working with Fawad Khan in “Kapoor & Sons,” which also had stars like Alia Bhatt in its cast.

The Bollywood actor was quoted by the “Indian Express” as saying: “Everybody has the freedom to work. He has been working with us for a while now. I believe creativity crosses border,”

Not long ago in August 2016, Indian actress Richa Chadha had come to Fawad’s rescue in a press conference in Melbourne after a female journalist had asked Fawad: “You’re representing a country and culture which is much different from your own. In all senses, especially Bollywood, may be the onscreen romance or the kissing scenes or the cultures we have or the way India has adopted westernisation. Because I have a lot of Pakistani friends and when I speak to them, I get the sense that the two countries are different and Pakistan is a lot different from India.”

But before Fawad could reply, Richa Chadha had chipped in saying: “I would like to answer that. Sorry, I am cutting in. You know we were colonised by the British for a really long time. It’s a part of the… I am sorry if I am offending anybody here, but if you look at worldwide history every time the British left an empire they divided it. Whether it was North Korea or South Korea then there was Germany. It is a part of the strategy to keep political unrest to ,sort of, maintain a global kind of, I am sorry but your question to me doesn’t make sense because I will have far more in common with Fawad because I am from the North of India than I will have with somebody who is a Tambrahm or maybe a Malyali or from the North East. I think we should avoid stereotyping in questions or creating some kind of contradiction here because the whole intent and especially art does really have any borders.”

Fawad Khan’s Bollywood journey:

In 2014, Khan had made his debut in Bollywood in Shashanka Ghosh's film “Khoobsurat” opposite Sonam Kapoor.

This film had emerged as a box office success, being declared as a "hit" by various media outlets. The film was particularly well received in the UK, UAE and Pakistan owing to Fawad Khan's following in these countries for his previous television work.

In 2016, Khan was seen in Shakun Batra's family drama “Kapoor & Sons,” which was produced by Karan Johar.

The film, which featured Fawad Khan alongside an ensemble cast including Rishi Kapoor, Ratna Pathak Shah, Rajat Kapoor, Sidharth Malhotra, and Alia Bhatt, became a major commercial success upon its release, and the Pakistani actor had gone on to receive almost unanimously positive reviews from critics for his portrayal of a writer who was revealed to be a closeted homosexual.

Not long from now, Fawad would be seen with Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma in the upcoming movie “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil,” which would be directed and produced by Karan Johar.

Other honors and recognition for Fawad Khan:

September 2014: He became the first ever Pakistani to be featured on the cover of Indian Magazine “Filmfare.”

November 2014: He became 5th Most Popular Actor of the month by “Times Celebex,” the official rating of the Bollywood Stars in India and worldwide.

December 2014: He was ranked as 37th Most Popular Bollywood celebrities of 2014 by “MensXp,” India’s largest online lifestyle magazine.

December 2014: He was ranked at 7th in “The World's Sexiest Asian Men of 2014” by “The Eastern Eye Weekly,” a British weekly newspaper that was first published by the “Guardian” newspaper management.

April 2015: Fawad was ranked as the 3rd “Most Desirable Men of 2014” by the “Times of India.”

April 2015: He was voted as the “Best Male Debut” at the “IBN Live Movie Awards” ceremony.

July 2015: He was named as “The Most Beautiful Man of the Year” at the “Vogue Beauty Awards.”

October 2015: He had featured on the cover of the “Filmfare Magazine” for the second time.

December 2015: Fawad was ranked at 4th in “The World's Sexiest Asian Men of 2015” by “The Eastern Eye” weekly” magazine.

March 2016: He had featured on the cover of the “Filmfare Magazine” for the third time.

April 2016: He had won the “Crush of the Year” award at the “Grazia Young Fashion Awards 2016.”

Pakistani artists who have worked in Bollywood over the years:

Apart from Fawad Khan, this list includes the likes of Salma Agha and daughter Saasha Agha, Mahira Khan, Javed Sheikh, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Ghulam Ali, Nadeem, Ali Zafar, Fareeda Khanum, Muhammad Ali and Zeba, Talat Hussain, Zeba Bakhtiyar, Adnan Sami Khan, Mohsin Khan, Somy Ali, Aneeta Ayoob, Moammar Rana, Sonia Jehan, Meera, Sana, Salman Shahid, Humayun Saeed, Mona Lisa aka Sara Loren, Veena Malik, Mehrun Nissa Hassan aka Mehr Hassan, Meekal Zulfikar, actor Aly Khan, singer Meesha Shafi, Humaima Malik and Imran Abbas etc.



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