Om Puri in Pakistan — "Indian majority holds no grudge against Pakistanis''

Om Puri in Pakistan — "Indian majority holds no grudge against Pakistanis''

The actor is on a three-day-visit to attend International Film Festival organised by Rafi Peer Theatre Workshop (RPTW)
Updated 18 Dec, 2015

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


AHA Dec 18, 2015 09:52am
But what Pakistani people believe is what is published in local papers, text books and religious leaders.....unfortunately.
Mahendra Dec 18, 2015 10:30am
Not true, just like general Pakistaini's have disdain for Indians, similarly general Indians have disdain for Pakistanis. Some of these high profile people do not really are grounded enough to know the reality.
Ali Dec 18, 2015 11:06am
We have lots of respect but you have to understand while you are in Pakistan and giving statement, which may goes against you, because we have concern about your safety, once you will go back to your country. As long as staying here we don't have any problem and we love that you stay here and work.
zia aziz Dec 18, 2015 11:27am
Om Puri is great person we warm welcome in pakistan with lot of love
KnowTheTruth Dec 18, 2015 12:45pm
while Om Puri is a well meaning person, I do not understand why individuals are making statements about the nation and the people. We have a foreign ministry to handle bilateral relations. No need of freelancing in foreign affairs. For Bollywood and bollystars , pakistan is just another market where they can sell their crappy films. They want good relations so that it opens up a market for them. Nothing more.
amir rafiq Dec 18, 2015 01:02pm
Well done mr om puri honest truthfull human being one ive the best ive known
Aditi Kaushik Dec 18, 2015 01:18pm
Om Puri ji is right. There are hawks in both sides, but as a common Indian, I or any of my friends do not hate Pakistan. Most of us actually want to visit Pakistan some day. Its only the terrorists we hate. And we know all Pakistanis are not terrorists. There are lots of good people there.
Mumbai_Man Dec 18, 2015 02:41pm
Om Puri is a great ambassador of our country. A versatile actor and a great human being. We are proud of him.
Ameet Kumar Dec 18, 2015 02:51pm
we are here to warm welcome sir om puri!
mhw Dec 18, 2015 02:55pm
good om puri sahab.
Rohit Sharma Dec 18, 2015 03:31pm
Om and Naseerudin are the best actors of Bollywood and best friends. The true representation of talented and secular India.
Talha Dec 18, 2015 03:49pm
Naseeruddin Shah and Om Puri are the only two veterans endorsing and bolstering Pakistani cinema and theatre..
Umesh Dec 18, 2015 04:03pm
Agree completely with OP. Why I should hold grudge against any Pakistani? We both face same problems in day to day life.
Hosur Dec 18, 2015 04:34pm
@KnowTheTruth Foreign minitries make political statements,not practical people oriented is people to people contact that builds good relations.Pakistan is a neighbour we cannot wish away.We have to co exist and it is practical to iron out our differences and co exist.
Iftikhar Husain Dec 18, 2015 05:29pm
He is most wellcome in Pakistan the only question arises who cares for the majority they are busy in their daily life it is the minirity who is making trouble.
Hassan Kamal Dec 18, 2015 05:30pm
Mr Om Puri cares and that's why he has commented. For me he is not just an actor, He is an elder who is doing the right thing.
Dipak Singh Dec 18, 2015 06:17pm
But my point of view Media shouldn't ask tough question to the actors regarding India Pakistan, Hindu Muslim or Tolerance & intolerance.. coz at the end these stars getting trouble without any reason & AAM aadmi least interested on it.
SFA Dec 18, 2015 07:08pm
Om Puri Sb, love and respect to you from your millions of fans in Pakistan. You are one of the finest actors produced by the Indian sub-continent, God bless.
Avataar Dec 18, 2015 07:52pm
If the youth of today on both sides of the border does not wake up and realize that the burden their past will not make their future any brighter by fighting, things will change for the better. There are so many things that we can both exchange and gain from. Just start thinking of the good things that might happen
Qamar Valliani Dec 18, 2015 07:55pm
The problem is Modi's government and not Indians.
GREEN Dec 18, 2015 07:59pm
Peace is the only solution!
Ahmad Zora Dec 18, 2015 10:53pm
I wish Lata (singer) would visit Pakistan too.
truth Dec 18, 2015 11:27pm
I would like the actors to have their opinion on their own homes and not go ahead and preach. There are issues bigger than the actors can understand.
Abid Haferz Dec 19, 2015 12:37am
Ohm Puri's comments were peaceful and I hope thess visits change the political climate of the two counfries.
usman778 Dec 19, 2015 01:18am
Aditi, you are most welcome to our humble country.
Hasan Dec 19, 2015 01:46am
You are a great actor Mr. Om Puri. We love you
Valar Morgulis Dec 19, 2015 02:09am
I guess Om Saheb doesn't read DAWN comments section very often. He would've had a different opinion otherwise. I disagree with him here but huge respect for him as an actor.
SAINAS Dec 19, 2015 02:10am
@KnowTheTruth, agree with you on comments made by private individuals but nothing that Bollywood needs from Pakistani market as almost all Pakistani diaspora watch Indian movies. So in terms of good relations it has to be mutual not one sided
hyderabadi4life Dec 19, 2015 03:31am
I think it's pretty appaling on the part of media to ask questions which begin with the premise of "had british india not been divided ... ". These kind of questions undermine and discredit the existence of Pakistan which both sides have to learn to live and deal with.
Mustafa Dec 19, 2015 03:32am
Judging from Om Puri's own movies, Mr. Puri himself holds a grudge against Muslims in general and Pakistan in particular.
Arif marawaha Dec 19, 2015 03:34am
Barrister Jinnah created another country because Hindos and Moslems cannot live together. Why come together now ? To slit each other throats once again? Are we disowning Jinna sahib? And heres Om Puti who is denying TNT. He should be shown the door.
Amit Dec 19, 2015 05:22am
Move to Pakistan & eat halwa Puri with Pakistani
Historicevents Dec 19, 2015 05:53am
Om Puri your sentiments are true & natural, I had been reading books on Mahatma Gandhi and I know there is no difference between people of India & Pakistan , your visit will further cement the friendship between people.I also endorse the view of Madhu Bandharkar for relaxation of visa.
wasim Dec 19, 2015 06:04am
nadeem ansari Dec 19, 2015 06:36am
@Ahmad Zora A festival offer. You take Lata. We will keep Ghulam Ali with us. We will happily gift many bolly wood actors to Pakistan , including all the Khans , Kapoors. In return we want some very good actors of Pakistani TV.
Shahid Dec 19, 2015 07:56am
Stars are innocent only know art why would they promote hate it's not an art
Rupesh Dec 19, 2015 08:09am
India is a democratic and secular country where we can practice any religion. there is no country in the world which provides such freedom to its citizens. today western countries are more aggressive against Muslims. therefore it is silly to blame whole country for one or two incidents. on the other hand Pakistan stands nowhere regarding 'freedom of religion'
SRIDHAR RAGHUNATHA RAO Dec 19, 2015 09:49am
Om Puri has rightly said. Most of us do not grudge anything against Pakistan and it's achievements in development. In fact, we derive pride when any Pakistani is rewarded with international honours as he/she is our own person of Indian subcontinent.
sudheer Dec 19, 2015 11:46am
the day people contacts restored. there will not be enough hotels in pakistan for accommodating indians.
AR Siddiqi Dec 19, 2015 04:02pm
Syed Hasni Dec 20, 2015 12:38am
Om Puri is a great actor and is so convincing in a role that he can hold an audience captive and make them feel as if there is nothing but the story at hand. He is confident in his work and portrays that confidence both during a performance as well as in public to help create a rapport with the public as he is doing in Pakistan. He has keen insight into human behavior and can effectively convey the emotion that influences one's actions. He has a natural talent for performing and entertaining. I have watched a lot of his incredible work , East is East, Ardh Satya, Aakrosh, Rang de basanti to a name a few. Om Puri you rock! Your are doing a great job here in Pakistan too. God Bless you.
imran Malik Dec 21, 2015 01:57am
Art n Artist never been a problem in any region of the world. Om puri jee should exercise his speech in Bombay as well!!