After Zindagi, Zee to stop Pak contestants, judges from reality shows too family, wedding pictures, age, height, weight, biography
After the Uri attack and the MNS giving Pakistani artists in India a “48-hour deadline” to “leave the country,” Subhash Chandra, ZEEL & Essel group chairman, had tweeted that they will stop showing Pakistani shows on Zindagi. During a press coference in Delhi on Tuesday, he said that ZEE will not have Pakistani contestants and judges on reality shows as well. He said, “Humare singing reality shows mein Pakistani singers aate hain, finalists bhi bane hain, shows bhi jeete hain, judges bhi bane hain. But we will not have them on the channel now till the Indo-Pak tension is over. Humne toh har tarah se prayas kiya, lekin kahin toh aap ko apne logon ke sentiments ki kadr karni hogi.”
While the idea of the press meet was to have a discussion on the channel’s new lineup of Indian and Turkish shows and introduce the shows’ artists, the discussion took a different turn with Chandra insisting that Pakistani artists should have condemned the Uri attack. And as the actors, writers and producers of the new shows, who came from other cities to attend the event, sat silently on stage, the discussion was led by Chandra and Anupam Kher, who is a producer of one of the shows which will now air on the channel.
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Pak actors should condemn the terror act: Anupam Kher
Anupam Kher said that he might b e friends with some of the Pakistani actors and appreciate their work, but at this time, he has to speak what he feels. “I feel that it is very important to reciprocate love and affection, otherwise it is taken as a sign of weakness. I have an example of my own self – when there was an attack in a Peshawar school and hundreds of children were killed in a terrorist attack, I was an Indian actor who wrote an open letter condemning the attack. I felt that those children were our children – they were the future of the world. When I was refused a visa to attend the literary festival, I raised the issue asking why I was not given the visa. I still believe that art and culture should not have any boundaries, but I think it is a moral responsibility of actors from across the border who work with us to condemn the terrorist attack which killed our soldiers. I am not asking them to condemn their country because that may not be possible for them, that may not be a correct move politically. But we welcome them, we give them work, all those actors became popular in India. It is important to be sensitive towards the emotions of Indian people, it’s important to say, ‘I condemn the unfortunate massacre of Indian soldiers.’ It is important to speak about such things, I am against the fact that they do not do that, they need to do that because we do that, we have always shown our goodness, friendship and I must say that there are some people in Pakistan who are wonderful people, they are good hosts. I went to Karachi once and it was beautiful, but when it comes to my country I cannot be diplomatic, I cannot be unbiased, I am biased towards my country. What will I tell the mother or father of that jawan who got killed? That it is alright, let’s give art and culture more importance? No, it is not possible. So, it is important for them to tell people that they are thankful that they are given work in this country, they are obliged and they also condemn the killing of Indian jawans.”
Kher added, “I am friends with some of these actors, I am following them on Instagram and I like these actors. People who have made films, I feel their films should release, producers have invested so much money, but it is important to talk about it. Make us feel that we have given you so much, you can at least do lip service and say I am sorry for your pain and I condemn this act of terrorism.”
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The decision to not have Pakistani shows was taken a day after Uri attack: Subhash Chandra
Claiming that the channel is boycotting Pakistani shows to take a stand against what happened in Uri, Chandra said, “Maine pehle bhi kaha hai ki pyaar ek tarfa nahi ho sakta. Humne prayaas kiye ki Hindustan aur Pakistan ke logon ko mila sakein. The government gave permission, the audience gave appreciation, Pakistan ke artists humare yahan popular hue, lekin woh baar baar hi ulta-seedha karte ja rahe hain – Pathankot kiya, Uri kiya. Ladai karna hai toh saamne karke maaro, lekin soye hue aadmi ko maaroge toh kaise chalega? So we decided that Pakistan ke shows hum band kar denge.”
He added, “Abhi hamare paas Pakistan ke lagbhag 3000 ghante ke shows hain joh humne khareede hue hain – lagbhag Rs 60 crore ka samaan hai. Par humne decide kiya ki humare liye Rs 60 crore important nahi hai, desh ka pride important hai. People say that Pakistani shows were the USP of Zindagi channel, because of the scripts, the acting. We have learnt this from them, aur uske liye main unn logon ki kadr karta hun. Aur badle mein humne unko do saal mein Rs 200-250 crore diye hain, joh seekha hai uska price pay kiya hai.”
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‘Pakistani artists should condemn terrorism’
Naming artists like Fawad Khan, Mahira Khan, Ali Zafar and Shfaqat Amanat Ali, Chandra said that he had requested them to condemn the act of terror. “Around nine Pakistani artists are working here, out of those six people are what they are because of our channel. Ali Zafar, Fawad Khan, Mahira Khan, Veena Malika, Imran Abbas, Shafqat Amanat Ali, in sabko humne phone kiya, sabko humne request ki aap kuch mat kariye, bas yeh hi kahiye ki jo terroist attack raat ko sote hue logon par kiya gaya hai, we condemn that, don’t even name Pakistan but even then they don’t want to talk about it. Let them entertain their own people. Children of our country are paying a price. Can you ask mother of a person who died while sleeping, ‘Let us keep art out of this’? Take her answer and then look at it. For how long you will keep art away from this?” said Chandra.
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‘This boycott could just be temporary’
Chandra said that the channel may change its stand in the future, depending on future developments. “I am not against any individual. Un 9 Pakistani artists mein se do log abhi Mumbai mein hain, as we speak now, I have invited them on October 2 to my house for dinner. Please don’t misunderstand what we say about boycotting; we are boycotting terrorism. That doesn’t mean that Nawaz Sharif will not remain my friend. I have been friends with him for 20 years,” he said, and added that he had had a word with Karan Johar, who has been reportedly receiving threats from MNS for working with Fawad Khan. “Karan Johar ji se jab maine baat ki toh maine unhe aashvasan diya ki chinta mat kariye, aapki film jo complete ho chuki hai, usko release hone denge log, aur agar koi rokega toh main saamne khada hoke aapki film release karaunga, par aage kaam mat kariye aur kya pata humare sambandh theek ho jayen,” he added.
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