LAHORE: Veteran Indian actor Om Puri, referring to a lynching incident in Dadri, India, in which a mob attacked a Muslim family, termed the happening shameful for his country.

Mr Puri who is currently in Pakistan on a three-day visit to attend International Film Festival organised by Rafi Peer Theatre Workshop (RPTW), was talking to the media at Alhamra Art Centre, The Mall, on Thursday.

Speaking on the cow slaughter issue in India, the actor said those who wanted to put a ban on slaughtering cows in the country were hypocrites.

“We export beef and earn dollars from it,” adding that neither such a controversial issue should be fanned, nor any provocative and misleading statements be given in this regard.

When asked about singer Ghulam Ali who had to cancel his performance in India amidst an extremist wave there, Mr Puri regretted the incident saying it should not have happened.

Pays tribute to Lahore He said the governments on both sides should not be scared of such attitudes, adding that some 80 to 90 percent people in India were secular and they held no grudge against Pakistanis.

He said that to those Indians who saw Pakistan as an extremist country, he would often argue that if that was the case then why schools and mosques there (in Paksitan) were bombed. In India, he said, not all segments of society were violent, and added there were certain misled people in both countries who were involved in such detestable activities.

“I request all those misled people to quit the ways which lead to hatred,” he said.

“Allah has warned against taking lives of innocent people, why being humans such elements were behaving like animals,” he asked.

To a question about Lahore, he said, had India and Pakistan been one country Lahore would have been the centre of the film industry instead of Mumbai. “Lahore is a great historical city,” he added.

To a question about cricket between India and Pakistan, Mr Puri said the two countries should not stop playing cricket.

He appreciated RPTW for their efforts in promoting art and culture and holding festivals.

Indian film director, producer and script writer Madhur Bhandarkar, who made films like Fashion, Traffic Signal and Chandani Bar, said he was excited about his visit to Pakistan.

He said films always connected people. He said both Pakistan and India had amazing talent in singing, acting, direction and other fields. He was also given an award later in a ceremony by Pakistan’s veteran film actress Zeba on behalf of RPTW.

The films screened on the first day of the festival were ‘My Son the Fanatic’, Noor, Chandni Bar. Short films were also screened on the occasion.

‘Visa policy hurdle in film ventures’: Producer Madhur Bandharkar

[By Newspaper's staff reporter]1

Indian film director and producer Madhur Bandharkar says visa policy is a major hurdle in collaboration between India and Pakistan.

In a Q&A session at International Film Festival on Thursday, he proposed a media cell between Pakistan and India. Artistes from both countries should be part of that cell for deliberations on collaborative ventures.

Indian actor Om Puri said politicians should be shown movies made by social activists so that they could fully grasp social issues.

He said there were times when Hindi films had a mix of Urdu, Hindi languages; however with the passage of time Hindi movies somehow lost the richness of the language.

Usman Pirzada said North Indian cinema had more opportunities when it came to joint ventures. The language of North Indian cinema was mostly Hindi. Music and themes were also similar to Pakistani movies. He said in Pakistan cinema houses reopened with the screening of Indian films as Pakistan movie industry was going through a bad patch.

He said screening of Indian movies brought new softwares and latest technology to cinema screenings.

ZEBA: Film actress Zeba has said that Indian and Pakistani films should be screened in both countries on an equality basis.

She was talking to media at international film festival at Alhamra.

She said: “Om Puri is a great artiste and we welcome him here in Lahore.”

She lauded Rafi Pir Theatre Workshop for promoting art and culture.

Published in Dawn, December 18th, 2015

Email