Thursday, October 16, 2014

An Appeal to members of Cine and Television Artistes Association (CINTAA) and others in Indian film industry

It has come to the notice of the undersigned (through recent news reports – see links at the bottom) that the members of CINTAA and some others in the Indian film industry are objecting to the participation of artists from foreign countries, especially Pakistan, in Indian movies and television. Among the reasons given for this objection and calls for a ban on Pakistani artistes are (1) that the foreign artistes lack the specified visa and (2) the current border tensions that Pakistan is having with India. Some members of CINTAA and other individuals have also made statements such as “...Pakistan has not been kind to Indian artistes and their artistes come and take away our people’s work here” or “...Pakistani artistes should not be allowed to work in Bollywood as India has great talent and there is no need to look across the border”. There are also reports of a certain new movie being stopped from release as it features a Pakistani artist.

The undersigned would like to lodge a strong protest against this attitude of narrow nationalism in India’s entertainment industry, and would like to request everyone to welcome and support international artistes, regardless of their nationality, as long as they follow the required Indian visa rules. We are definitely in favour of the artistes complying with Indian laws of immigration and work permit etc., but monitoring its compliance should be left to the Indian government authorities. How can a private entity such as CINTAA dictate terms to the artistes without taking into account the larger opinion of the Indian arts and entertainment industry, and of course, the audience?

We appeal to CINTAA and the entertainment industry at large to shun this unnecessarily jingoistic attitude and welcome great talent wherever it may come from. After all, Indian cinema and television is as much popular (and profitable) outside India (including Pakistan) as it is within the country. A large number of Indian movie scenes are being filmed in foreign locales, and the presence of ‘foreign-looking’ faces, especially in the songs, do fascinate the majority of Indian audiences. Large chunk of profits on recent Indian movies are being earned from outside India. (Salman Khan’s 'Kick' was the all-time highest earning movie in Pakistan). Indian artistes and technicians are working in film industries all over the world, including Hollywood. Pakistan’s recent film 'Zinda Bhag' had an Indian cinematographer, sound designer, editor and even actors. There is even some Hollywood animation work that is being outsourced to India. In such a thriving globalized market, how can we have such a narrow attitude? Also, good talent from abroad (especially Pakistan) should only add to the competitiveness, thus improve our own talent, rather than affect the earnings of Indian artists. In fact, such a narrow parochial attitude on the part of Indian associations would ultimately be counter-productive, as it might discourage international productions that often work with a mix of Indian and foreign talent to shoot in India. We appeal to CINTAA and all other stakeholders in the entertainment industry to work towards keeping the doors of art and creativity open for cross border flows, even if our governments and armies are in conflict. This would go a long way towards building a climate of peace in the region.

Signatories so far (includes signatures from the online petition):

1. Yousuf Saeed, New Delhi
2. Shohini Ghosh, New Delhi
3. Shashwati Talukdar
4. Anand Patwardhan, Mumbai
5. Iram Ghufran, New Delhi
6. Paromita Vohra, Mumbai
7. Anjali Monteiro, Mumbai
8. K.P.Jayasankar, Mumbai
9. Saba Dewan, New Delhi
10. Chintan Girish Modi, Mumbai
11. Subuhi Jiwani
12. Yogendra Jawadekar, Mumbai
13. Chandita Mukherji, Mumbai
14. Shikha Jhingan, New Delhi
15. Amar Kanwar, New Delhi
16. Nakul Singh Sawhney, New Delhi
17. Samina Mishra, New Delhi
18. Shikha Sen, New Delhi
19. Pankaj Butalia, New Delhi
20. Kumkum Roy, Delhi
21. Smriti Nevatia, Mumbai

22. Gautam Pemmaraju, Mumbai 
23. Miriam Chandy Menacherry, Mumbai
24. Annie Johnny, New Delhi
25. Alka Hingorani, Mumbai
26. Gurpal Singh, Mumbai
27. Richa Jha
28. Uma Tanuku, New Delhi
29. Rudra Bhushan, New Delhi
30. Nikhat Powell
31. Devaki Khanna, New Delhi
32. Richa Pant
33. Uma Chakravarti
34. Aditya Seth
35. Trisha Gupta, Delhi
36. Sameera Jain, New Delhi
37. Shriprakash, Ranchi
38. Rahul Roy, New Delhi
39. Aparna Sharma, Mumbai
40. Rakesh Katarey, Mumbai
41. Simantini Dhuru, Mumbai
42. Bishakha Datta, Mumbai
43. Kiran Rao, Mumbai
44. Kaveri Mehrotra
45. Sonal Chowdhary
46. Sanjay Maharishi, New Delhi
47. Lalit Vachani, New Delhi
48. Srirupa Roy
49. Rakesh Sharma, Mumbai
50. Atul Gupta, Dehradoon
51. Asad Kidwai, New Delhi
52. Danish Mirza, Bijnor
53. Sudeshna Sengupta, Kolkata
54. Anupama Srinivasan, New Delhi
55. Ajay Noronha, Mumbai
56. Madhuja Mukherjee, Kolkata
57. Sanjay Kak, New Delhi
58. Manjushree Somani, Kolkata
59. Mariam Fatima, New Delhi
60. Dhruv Sangari, New Delhi
61. Hina Saiyada, Mumbai
62. Vani Subramanian, Delhi
63. Mahtab Alam
64. Xavier Dias
65. Samina Aslam, Karachi
66. Manasi Pingle
67. Shama Zehra Zaidi
68. Ambarien Alqadar
69. Gargi Sen, New Delhi
70. Ruhi Khan
71. Jamal Kidwai, Delhi
72. Gita Madhu
73. Zafar Anjum, Singapore
74. Shabnam Virmani, Bangalore
75. Tabrez Zeya, Punjab (Pakistan)
76. Siraj Khan, Karachi
77. Amit V Masurkar
78. Subramanya shastri
79. Chitra Joshi
80. Gargey Trivedi
81. Awanish Kumar
82. Asad Hussain
83. Prakash K Ray, Delhi
84. Sheharyar Rizwan
85. Usama Sulaiman, Delhi
86. Javed Mashooq, Delhi
87. Shaik Zakeer Hussain
88. Ovais Sultan Khan
89. Priya
90. Imran Zahid
91. Vishal Gadhavi
92. Beena Sarwar (Pakistan)
93. Dr R S Tiwari
94. Jagannathan Krishnan
95. Roucaya Badat-Safla
96. Anand Gautam
97. Harsh Kapoor
98. Martin Gieselmann, Heidelberg, Germany
99. Nandini Sen
100. Subhash Chopra, Delhi
101. Fathima Nizaruddin
102. Devaki Khanna
103. Anisha Saigal
104. Afrah Shafiq
105. Rohit Rellan, Delhi
106. Khadeeja Arif
107. Sadia Wahidi, New Delhi
108. Arpita Biswas
109. Mahesh Kumar
110. Latika
111. Utpal Borpujari, New Delhi
112. Sherna Dastur, Mumbai
113. Teena Gill, New Delhi

Please send your name to us to add to this list. This petition can be also be signed at

See the following reports related to this petition:
CINTAA doesn't want foreign artistes in Indian films, Mukesh Bhatt opposes move

Pakistan artists in trouble: BJP to oppose the release of Ali Zafar's ‘Kill Dil’

Yash Raj Films 'Kill Dil' faces release threat over tensions in LoC

Indians protests against Pakistani actors to work in Bollywood

Cintaa to take movement opposite Pakistani artistes in Bollywood

CINTAA to take action against foreign, Pakistani actors

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