Actors, singers and artists have an important role to play during this drawn-out lockdown; they come together to keep their audiences entertained and engaged.
At the same time, it's a great time for our entertainers to collaborate with other like-minded people.
Recently, our very own Ali Sethi set the bar high with his cross-border collaboration between local living legend Farida Khanum on this side of the border, and iconic Indian songstress, Rekha Bhardwaj, from across the border.
After this, several Indian and Pakistani artists started collaborating online and the sight ahead was admirable. However it was when Indian singer Harshdeep Kaur and designer Vijay Arora did an online concert with Rahat Fateh Ali Khan that FWICE took notice and took action.
The Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE) said in a statement, "Artistes were seen collaborating with Pakistani singer, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan. We are pained to inform all members that FWICE has issued a total non-cooperation circular advising all members not to work in any manner whatsoever with all Pakistani artistes, singers and technicians."
It continued, “Some members are blatantly violating the non-cooperation circular by working in various mode and media of entertainment like a recent instance in which our musicians have worked online with singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan of Pakistan, which is being seen online. We have been informed that more such entertainment products and songs are being planned and made.”
The statement also served as a reminder that FWICE had forbidden Indian actors, musicians and even technicians from the Indian entertainment industry to work in any form with people from Pakistan before too.
“We have to strictly inform all the members of our affiliates to kindly note that the Non- Cooperation Circular is valid and subsisting and anyone found cooperating or working in any manner with any Pakistani artistes, singers and technicians, in any mode or media of entertainment, will be subject to strict disciplinary action initiated by FWICE. Everyone, please note,” the statement added.
Where artists were attempting to diminish borders with love for art, extremists are doing their best to keep the two neighbouring countries apart - even though the peaceful attempt was made during a global pandemic.