Bollywood’s apologists should go the whole nine yards

Integrity demands that they tell the Pakistanis the whole story

Mahesh Bhatt and his daughter Pooja addressed a press conference in Karachi, where they took a laudable position against human rights violations wherever they may occur.

“I am against human rights violations and atrocities on people wherever they are committed, even if these violations are committed by my own armed forces,” said Mr Bhatt while answering a question at a press conference at the Karachi Press Club.

A questioner had asked the participants what would their stand be on the alleged atrocities by Indian forces in the Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir. It was here Mr Bhatt commented that he cannot defend the atrocities and it was a crime wherever it was committed. [Daily Times]

But that is only part of the story. What about condemning terrorism, and Pakistan’s sponsorship of it? People-to-people contacts, especially involving high-profile celebrities is rather pointless if it involves telling each side what it wants to hear. And even as Bhatt was making those statements, jihadi terrorists in Kashmir, shooting from a mosque, killed 10 Indian soldiers.

To be taken seriously, public figures should have the integrity to lay out the facts that reflect public opinion; resorting to obfuscation and selective expression of opinions may endear the Bhatts and their tinseltown colleagues to Pakistani audiences but they won’t add to mutual understanding between the people of the two countries. Beyond appearing unduly apologetic, Bollywood personalities would do well to be, shall we say, truthful.

On a related note. During the same press conference, Om Puri made the unbearably silly analogy and called for EU-like open-borders in South Asia.

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