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Now, Narayan is set to direct a cross-border story of two musicians who set out on a tour of both the countries and discover themselves in the course of the journey. Titled Ye Raste Hain Pyar Ke, the film will be produced by Shyam Benegal. The news comes close on the heels of calls to ban Pakistani talent in India in the wake of the Uri attacks with Rahul Dholakia’s Raees which features Pakistani actress Mahira Khan, Karan Johar’s Ae Dil Hai Mushkil with Fawad Khan in a guest appearance and Gauri Shinde’s Dear Zindagi which has Ali Zafar as one of the male leads, facing the flak.
While political parties including Maharashtra Navnirman Sena and Shiv Sena have demanded that Pakistani actors be replaced in Indian films, Indian Motion Pictures Producers Association (IMPPA) passed a resolution on October 2 banning artistes from across the border. But Benegal and Narayan are unperturbed. “I believe there couldn’t be a better time to put out a film that explores love and peace and promotes humanity,” Narayan says, noting that Saadat Hasan Manto wrote his best work, including Toba Tek Singh, during the Partition. “Faiz Ahmed Faiz wrote the famous poem, Black-Out, while the 1965 Indo-Pak war was underway. His Subh-e-azadi: Dawn of Independence faced protests. From 1947 till his death in 1984, Faiz composed poems in which he spoke lovingly about his land and its long-suffering people, their hopes and fears, joys and sorrows.
I’m trying to capture that feeling through my film,” Narayan asserts. Benegal told Mirror, “People called me mad when I was making Ankur! I have found another mad-creative filmmaker in Harsh. He is capable, hard-working and can take on all the creative responsibilities necessary in making this film.” Narayan has received support from other prominent personalities as well. While Mahesh Bhatt who believes the film’s idea “has immense possibilities and it affirms life in a very elementary way” has come on board as a creative advisor, he is joined by Salima Hashmi, daughter of Faiz Ahmed Faiz and a renowned writer-painter. “Harsh has played a pivotal role in forging friendships between the Indian and Pakistani youth.
For the last decade, students have worked with him and travelled to India in groups to meet young people at different venues, participating in cultural activities including music and theatre to learn from each other and to promote peace. He is continuing his work in the same direction through films,” she said. Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri, former Foreign Minister of Pakistan has green-lit the project as well. “Respected Pakistanis and Indians who have known Narayan over the years and have seen him work relentlessly speak highly of his endeavours. I feel this film will help reduce friction between the two nations,” he said.
This article was originally published on http://www.ahmedabadmirror.com/entertainment/bollywood/Indo-Pak-film-to-promote-peace/articleshow/54800349.cms