MUMBAI: The Bollywood fraternity has criticized the Shiv Sena for not allowing any Pakistani actor, cricketer or artist to enter Maharashtra.
Filmmaker Mukesh Bhatt said that art and culture should be kept separate from politics, adding that it was the art and culture which bridged the gap. He said an actress is cast based on her talent and not nationality.
Lyricist Swanand Kirkire said that banning anything was wrong, adding that politics and art should not be mixed.
Actor Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub said putting a ban on something only showed weakness. It is sad that this was happening.
The Shiv Sena had targeted Pakistani actors Fawad Khan and Mahira Khan who appear in Bollywood films.
"We have taken a stand that we won't allow any Pakistani actor, cricketer or performer to step on Maharashtra's soil," said Akshay Bardapurkar, general secretary of the Shiv Sena Chitrapat Sena, the film wing of the party.
"Shiv Sena won't let the Pakistani actors in the films -- Mahira Khan ("Raees") and Fawad Khan ("Ae Dil Hai Mushkil") -promote the films in Maharashtra," Bardapurkar had told reprters.
The Sena had also protested against Pakistani ghazal singer Ghulam Ali's concerts in Pune and Mumbai, which had to be cancelled. Later there was an ink attack on former BJP ideologue Sudheendra Kulkarni over release of former Pakistan foreign minister Khurshid Kasuri's book. The Sena also staged a protest at the BCCI office
over talks with Pakistan Cricket Board.