Following the controversy surrounding Pakistani artistes working in India, actress Priyanka Chopra on 16 October expressed her displeasure over the demand for a blanket ban on Pakistani artistes and said that it is not justified that actors alone have to bear the brunt.
Since the Uri terror attack, there has been a growing demand for a ban on Pakistani artistes, with Maharashtra Navnirman Sena even issuing an ultimatum to them to leave India and Indian Motion Picture Producers Association (IMPPA) passing a motion to ban artistes from across the border from working in the industry.
Recently, Cinema Owners and Exhibitors Association of India announced it won't release films featuring Pakistani artistes in four states-- Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, and Gujarat.
When asked about her opinion on the debate, Priyanka said, "It's tricky because first of all artists and actors are always held responsible for every bigger political agenda that happens in our country. Why are only we reflecting it? Why not businesses, why not doctors, why no politicians why not anyone else except for public people which are actors, movie industry... "Second, I'm extremely patriotic. So, whatever my government decide to keep the counry safe I go with that but at the same time I believe that artists are not representation of, at least not yet, there has not been an actor who has done something to harm someone's life," Priyanka said.
The 34-year-old actress said why are people picking on actors instead of fighting the real culprits. "For an artist, their work is their religion. One cannot hold an artist responsible for their religion. Why are we not picking on someone who have actively done something wrong?" She added that the families of Indian soldiers do not care about actor of which nationality comes and works here and they are concerned about the safety of their sons and the rest of the country so, this should be highlighted rather than the debate on Pakistani artistes.
"(Families of Indian soldiers) are not concerned about who is coming into the country, doing a movie... and going away. They are concerned about keeping rest of their sons and rest of their soldiers safe and that needs to be our focus.
"We always lose our focus because that makes noise. Because people talk about it. Because the media carries it. Because the press writes about it. This is not at all an issue. This is entertainment. This is business. People buy ticket, watch a movie for three hours and come away. Done. Finish. Period," the actress said.