LAHORE: Veteran Indian film artiste Om Puri has demanded a ban on films produced by India or Pakistan which carry venom against each other.
Mr Puri was addressing a crowded press conference with Indian actress Divya Dutta at a local hotel on Wednesday.
Asked whether he would accept any film offer from Pakistan, he replied in the affirmative but hastened to add that he would not act in any such film in which either Pakistan or India was abused.
To a question what difference he sees between the present-day Bollywood movies and those of yesteryears, he said: “Although the standard and technique of films have been remarkably improved over the years, hardcore social and political films are missing from the Indian scene.”
As for the trend of Indian film stars’ opting for movies berating Pakistan, Mr Puri admitted that he himself had acted in such a film ‘Gadar’ which hurt the sentiments of Pakistanis but in future he would refrain from performing any anti-Pakistan role.
What’s the general perception about Pakistan in India was another question to which he said the people of both the countries wanted to meet and interact. “Every nation has elements who keep trying to sabotage the peace efforts and India and Pakistan are no exception,” he remarked.
Generally, he said, the Pakistani people he met the world over were sweet and caring. “I have extensively worked in different film projects in foreign countries, especially in England and Canada, and everywhere the Pakistanis I met were hospitable and had great regard for their neighbours,” he said.
About the Indian government’s reluctance to allow Pakistani channels in the country despite the fact that there was no such ban in Pakistan, the thespian said it was unfair on the part of India that a good gesture from Pakistan was not being reciprocated.
But as for the Pakistani films, he said ‘Khuda Key Liye’ and ‘Bol’ were widely watched and appreciated in India.
Diyva Dutta said she was so excited when she learnt that she was going to Lahore for a stage performance. “My mother belongs to Karachi – a city I have already visited. But this is my first visit to Lahore,” she said.