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‘India and Pakistan are like the left and right eyes’: A short survey of cross-border cultural ties

Posted on Sep 26 2016 - 4:00pm
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'India and Pakistan are like the left and right eyes': A short survey of cross-border cultural ties lyrics, song mp3 download, family, wedding pictures, age, height, weight, biography

The cricket world has been left poorer ever since India and Pakistan drastically cut down their engagements on the field after 2008, because of Islamabad’s alleged support for cross-border terrorism. In the wake of the Uri attack on September 18, will cinema, television and music be permanently damaged too?

Putting it another way: Is Fawad Khan’s career in India finished before even properly taking off?

The attack on the Army camp in Uri has prompted Subhash Chandra, the head of the Zee network, to declare that he will stop airing Pakistani serials on his popular channel Zindagi, which has introduced Indians to several Pakistani actors, including Fawad Khan. The demand that Pakistani talent should not be allowed to work in India has found support beyond familiar rabble-rousers such as the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena and the Shiv Sena. It wasn’t Times Now’s Arnab Goswami who wanted Fawad Khan to Quit India, but CNN News18 anchor Bhupendra Chaubey.

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Doubts are being raised about the fate of upcoming films such as Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, which stars Khan in a small role, and movies still under production such as Mom, starring Sridevi and Sajal Aly, and an untitled Yash Raj Films project featuring Danyal Zafar, the brother of the singer and actor Ali Zafar.

Over the years, Pakistani actors and singers have managed to escape the ultra-nationalist heat that has inevitably followed major terrorist strikes. They would lie low, ride out the calls for retribution and be back on the screen in a matter of weeks. That was before the rise of the Bharatiya Janata Party government at the Centre, the proliferation of troll armies on social networking sites, the war-mongering on TV channels like Times Now and CNN News 18, and the polarisation of the movie industry into liberals, centrists, and proud ultra-rightwingers like the singer Abhijeet and actor Anupam Kher.

By training their verbal weapons on Pakistani artists working in India, the BJP’s supporters have managed to vitiate the co-operation that has marked Indo-Pakistani cultural encounters since Independence.

Partition saw a flight of talent from India to Pakistan and vice versa. Indian films were still being released in Pakistan after 1947. But by the mid-1950s, severe restrictions began to be placed on their distribution to boost the growth of the local film industry, known as Lollywood because it was headquartered in Lahore. “The restriction on Bombay films opened a new free and non-competitive market for local productions,” writes Mushtaq Gazdar in Pakistani Cinema 1947-1997. “1956 proved to be the most fruitful year of the first decade in terms of box-office returns from indigenous cinema.”

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That year, two Indian actresses appeared in Pakistani productions: Sheila Ramani, of Taxi Driver fame, and Meena Shorey, who had charmed audiences in the song Lara Lappa in the 1949 movie Ek Thi Ladki. Ramani played the lead in Anokhi, produced by her uncle Sheikh Latif, and the music was composed by Bengali composer Timir Baran, “who came from India for this purpose”, writes Gazdar. Ramani returned to India and faded out after a few films.

Meena Shorey. Courtesy Upperstall.Meena Shorey. Courtesy Upperstall.

Meena Shorey (born Kurshid Jehan) was the heroine of the Pakistani production Miss 56, directed by JC Anand. She was accompanied by her husband, Ek Thi Ladki director Roop K Shorey, who had to return to India after Meena Shorey decided to stay on in Lahore.

Many Indian directors and actors, including Zia Sarhady and Noor Jehan, migrated to Pakistan between the ’40s and the ‘60s and contributed to the consolidation of the indigenous industry. Pakistani cinema had its own star system and musical talent, but on occasion, it borrowed Indian singers such as Hemant Kumar and Sandhya Mukherjee for Humsafar (1960).

‘Akhiya Chalke’ from the Pakistani film ‘Humsafar’ (1960).

The Merchant-Ivory Production Bombay Talkie (1970), about a married film star’s dalliance with an American writer, stars one of the best-known Pakistani actors and voice artists. Zia Mohyeddin had appeared in several plays in London, including as Dr Aziz in a BBC adaptation of EM Forster’s A Passage to India in 1965. In Bombay Talkie, Mohyeddin plays Hari, a frustrated writer who is love with the American writer, played by Jennifer Kendal.

‘Bombay Talkie’ (1970).

Over the years, big-name Pakistani actors made appearances in Hindi films, including Nadeem in Ambrish Sangal’s Door Desh (1983) and Talat Hussain in Sawan Kumar Tak’s melodrama Souten Ki Beti (1989). Zeba Bakhtiar, the daughter of former Pakistan Law Minister Yahya Bakhtiar, played the lead along with Rishi Kapoor in Raj Kapoor’s cross-border romance Henna (1991). The story of a Kashmiri (Rishi Kapoor) who strays across the Line of Control after a bout of amnesia was inspired by the Pakistani classic Lakhon Mein Eik. Directed by Raza Amir in 1967, and based on a story by Zia Sarhadi, Heena has dialogue by legendary Pakistani television writer and playwright Haseena Moin, who wrote such iconic TV shows as Dhoop Kinare and Tanhaiyaan.

Bakhtiar was briefly married to singer and composer Adnan Sami, who became an Indian citizen in January 2016.

Among the Pakistani actors who have enlivened Hindi cinema through standout cameos is Salman Shahid. He plays a Taliban fighter in Kabul Express (2006) but is better known as Mushtaq Bhai, the hoodlum who tries in vain to tame Iftikhar (Naseeruddin Shah) and Babban (Arshad Warsi) in Abhishek Chaubey’s Ishqiya (2010) and Dedh Ishqiya (2014).

‘Ishqiya’ (2010).

The patrician Javed Sheikh has had a longer run, starring in John Matthew Matthan’s Shikhar (2005), Shirish Kunder’s Jaan-E-Mann (2006), Farah Khan’s Om Shanti Om (2008), Anil Sharma’s Apne (2007), Vipul Shah’s Namastey London (2007) and Imtiaz Ali’s Tamsaha (2015). Sheikh’s most recent release is the cross-border rom-com Happy Bhaag Jayegi (2016) by Mudassar Aziz, who also stars his daughter, Momal Sheikh.

India-Pakistani co-productions are rare, but two examples stand out. One is Khamosh Pani (2003), directed by Pakistani director Sabiha Sumar, written by Indian filmmaker and writer Paromita Vohra , and starring Kirron Kher and Shilpa Shukla. The moving period drama, about a widow’s troubled relationship with her radicalised son, won the Best Film (Golden Leopard) prize at the Locarno International Film Festival.

Kirron Kher in ‘Khamosh Pani’.Kirron Kher in ‘Khamosh Pani’.

Nandita Das crossed over to the other side to appear in Mehreen Jabbar’s Ramchand Pakistani (2008) as Champa, a Pakistani Hindu woman whose husband and son stray into India. Naseeruddin Shah has also been appearing in Pakistani films, such as Shoaib Mansoor’s Khuda Kay Liye (2007) and Zinda Bhaag (2013), by Meenu Gaur and Farjad Nabi. Khuda Kay Liye, which starred Pakistani superstar Shan and Fawad Khan, was released by Eros Entertainment in India, followed by Mansoor’s Bol in 2013. Two of Bol’s lead actresses, Humaima Malick and Mahira Khan, have been signed up by Bollywood. Malick headlined the Emraan Hashmi-starrer Raja Natwarlal (2014), while Mahira Khan has been paired with Shah Rukh Khan in the 2017 release Raees.

Nandita Das in ‘Ramchand Pakistani’ (2008).Nandita Das in ‘Ramchand Pakistani’ (2008).

India has also been able to share the talent of Pakistani musicians over the years. Chupke Chupke, the popular ghazal by Ghulam Ali, whose concerts in India have been regularly blocked by Shiv Sena, was used in BR Chopra’s marital drama Nikaah (1982).

Subhash Ghai recruited renowned Pakistani folk singer Reshma to record her classic love ballad, Lambi Judai, for his romance Hero (1983). In a 2004 interview, Reshma, whose family left Rajasthan for Pakistan when she was a toddler, said, “I was born in India and brought up in Pakistan. To me, India and Pakistan are the left and the right eyes.”

One of the greatest Pakistani exports in music is the qawwal Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, who recorded several songs in collaboration with Indian musicians and lyricists, including remixed versions of Piya Re and Aafreen Aafreen (with lyrics by Javed Akhtar) and Gurus of Peace with AR Rahman.

‘Aafreen Aafreen’ by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.

Numerous Pakistani singers and bands have followed in Khan’s footsteps, including his nephew Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Strings, Ali Zafar (who has also acted in Tere Bin Laden and Kill Dill), Shafqat Amanat Ali Khan and Atif Aslam. Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Shafqat Khan and Aslam are especially popular in India. Rahat Fateh Ali Khan is one of Hindi cinema’s leading singers, most recently singing the hit track Jag Ghoomeya from Sultan (2016).

Shafqat Khan has sung Mitwa (Kabhi Alvidaa Naa Kehna, 2006), Tere Naina (My Name Is Khan, 2010) and Manchala (Hasee Toh Phasee, 2014). Aslam has crooned the hits Tere Bin (Bas Ek Pal, 2006), Pehli Nazar Mein (Race, 2008) and Jeena Jeena (Badlapur, 2015). Indian musicians too feature on Coke Studio Pakistan, such as Shilpa Rao in the 2016 edition.

Subhash Chandra’s decision to stop airing Pakistani soaps on Zindagi also casts a shadow over the Zeal For Unity initiative, which is aimed at promoting peace between India and Pakistan. The idea is to produce 12 short films by six Indian and six Pakistani filmmakers. Ketan Mehta has directed an adaptation of Saadat Hasan Manto’s short story Toba Tek Singh while Tigmanshu Dhulia has been recruited for Baarish Aur Chowmein. From Pakistan, Shahbaz Sumar has made Khaema Mein Matt Jhankain, a rural-set satire about a travelling circus, while Gaur and Nabi have helmed the reality show spoof Jeewan Hathi, starring Naseeruddin Shah among other actors. “Salaam or Namaste, it’s one and the same,” says Khalid Ahmed, one of the dozen filmmakers, in the promotional video. Not anymore, not after Uri.

‘Toba Tek Singh’ by Ketan Mehta.

Waste generated by modern society is one of the greatest problems of the 21st century. A 2014 Planning Commission report estimates that urban India generates around 60 million tons of waste. Most of this remains untreated and as India grows rapidly, the challenge of managing waste will only become more daunting.

Waste can be broadly classified into three varieties—synthetic, inorganic and organic. Synthetic waste, like plastics, and inorganic waste like minerals, iron or other metals are typically not biodegradable. This means that these types of waste will stay on in the environment for decades. If untreated, these can seriously harm the ecology and contaminate ground water. Organic waste like food is biodegradable, but poses a different problem. With lack of proper segregation and treatment, organic waste can turn into a breeding ground for diseases and pose a public health risk. With India’s landfills perpetually over-flowing and waste incineration requiring large amounts of energy, waste management needs an innovative and holistic intervention, and urgently so, if we want to achieve our cleanliness goals as a country.

Waste management is a complex problem. To simplify it, we can think of it as two basic challenges. The first is a scientific one—what materials constitute waste and how waste can be treated efficiently. The second challenge is infrastructural—how to create efficient systems required for collection, treatment and safe disposal of garbage.

Synthetic plastic is one of the materials that generates a significant amount of waste. In general, synthetic plastic is a very versatile product with valuable properties such as durability and leak-prevention. Hence, eliminating its use often isn’t an option. In such circumstances, a big breakthrough is to create biodegradable and even better compostable plastic that can replace the synthetic kind. These innovative new plastics have the physical properties that make plastic so useful but are made from natural and easily biodegradable materials like from any sugar generating plant (e.g. tapioca, corn or potato).

India alone generates 5.6 million metric tons of plastic waste every year, according to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). 80% of this waste is ‘potentially’ recyclable but 40% of it isn’t even collected. With increasing awareness of the waste management challenge, there is now a growing interest in the adoption of compostable plastic in the country as an alternative to the synthetic variety. Disposal of food waste is one important area where the use of compostable plastic can make a significant impact. Synthetic plastic bags retard biodegradation of food waste and do not break down in composting facilities. On the other hand, compostable plastics can help deal with food waste in a safe and sustainable manner as a pilot initiative in Pune shows.

In 2012, Pune piloted an initiative in two residential complexes where citizens were taught to segregate organic and inorganic waste and encouraged to use compostable bags made from BASF’s ecovio®. This is an innovative polymer that is certified compostable according to all global standards and is therefore biodegradable and partly bio-based. These bags when used to collect and source separate food waste for example, can be completely consumed by microorganisms together with the contents of the bag. This is a natural process of biodegradation enabled by the microorganisms. At the end of the composting process, the biodegradable ecovio® breaks down into just carbon dioxide, water and biomass. In the Pune example, after only 90 days, the bags along with the organic waste got converted into valuable compost. The city is now working on making these bags available at a price lower than synthetic plastic carry bags, to drive wider adoption.

The second big challenge of infrastructure is steep but Sweden offers an inspiring example of a country that has been able to control waste through policy and infrastructure. The country now recycles nearly 99% of its garbage. This “recycling revolution” was achieved through a) incentives that minimised the production of waste and b) creation of infrastructure like advanced recycling stations built within 300 meters of any residential area. As a result, from 1975, when only 38% of the household waste was recycled, Sweden is now at a point where just about 1% enters its landfills.

India too is seeing a groundswell of infrastructure and governance initiatives. In 2012, New Delhi proposed a ban on the manufacture, sale, storage, usage, import and transport of all kinds of plastic carry bags. In March 2016, Central Pollution Control board issued the new Plastic Waste management rules (PWM 2016). These rules clearly define compostable plastics based on their biological degradation process. It has not only exempted compostable plastics from the thickness criteria but has also set a deadline to phase out non-recyclable multi-layered plastics in 2 years.

BASF is working with local government bodies to popularise the use of certified compostable plastics for public consumption. As more cutting-edge scientific solutions to minimise and eliminate waste are implemented on a large scale, the dream of a cleaner future with less waste plaguing the environment seems more possible than ever.

For more information about ecovio®, see here.

This article was produced on behalf of BASF by the Scroll.in marketing team and not by the Scroll.in editorial staff.

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‘India and Pakistan are like the left and right eyes’: A short survey of cross-border cultural ties was last modified: September 26th, 2016 by greendecker

This article was originally published on http://thereel.scroll.in/817475/india-and-pakistan-are-like-the-left-and-right-eyes-a-short-survey-of-cross-border-cultural-ties

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