The Kashmir conflict has been withholding peaceful relations between India and Pakistan. However, recent Bollywood films have been promoting unity.
Mahesh Bhatt, a filmmaker, has filmed an upcoming Punjabi film called ‘Dushman’ – which translates to ‘enemies’. The movie is based on the relationship improving between Pakistan and India.
Alongside Bhatt’s film, the movie ‘Raees’, directed by Rahul Dholakia, has two leading roles, the hero is Indian and the heroine is Pakistani. Those against either India, or against Pakistan have chosen to boycott the movie, and the Pakistani actress, Mahira Khan, was banned from entering India to promote the movie. Ironically, the movie emphasizes how one should not criticize based on one’s origin. Specifically, Indians hating Pakistani’s just for being Pakistani, and vice versa.
However, the Kashmir conflict dates back to 1965, with controversy over who claimed the status of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. But, recently, soldiers from both Pakistan and India have been killed by the opposing neighboring country. This has triggered the tension between the two countries once again.
Ramya, a Sandalwood star and former Member of Parliament for India, had visited Pakistan for SAARC Youth Summit. She commented on how hospitable the Pakistanis were, and received harsh backlash from Indians, according to the Times of India.
“I spoke about peace, harmony and unity in diversity. When I got back, I was asked how Pakistan was and I said that the people there are just like us and that we were treated very well. There was a lot of respect”, Ramya emphasizes her trip to the neighboring country.
However, people protested because they believed that her statements were a rebuttal to Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar‘s comment that ‘going to Pakistan is like going to hell’. Actor-politician Jaggesh was one among the few who is rumored to have said that India doesn’t need people like her.
Ramya stressed that “Pakistanis themselves face terrorism. The only way we can resolve it is if we can step aside from the inciting violence and keep away from the petty trivial things, and join together to fight as one unit.”
Figures like Ramya are voicing their opinions to maintain peace, whilst Indian filmmakers are using movies to silently protest against the tension between Pakistan and India, and instead, capitalize unity and harmony.