New Delhi, November 28
The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a petition seeking a complete ban on employing Pakistani artistes in India and asked the petitioner not to be narrow-minded.
“Do not press this appeal… Do not be so narrow minded,” a Bench of Justice Sanjiv Khanna and Justice SVN Bhatti told the advocate representing petitioner Faaiz Anwar Qureshi, rejecting his plea.
Qureshi – a cine worker had sought directions to the Information and the Ministry of External Affairs, the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to issue notifications imposing a ban on grant of visas to Pakistani artistes.
He contended that engaging Pakistani artistes would lead to discrimination against Indian artistes and cine workers as a similar favourable atmosphere to work was not available to Indian artists to work in Pakistan.
Qureshi sought to highlight a resolution passed by the All-Indian Cine Workers Association after the Pulwama terror attack and similar resolutions by the Indian Motion Pictures Producers Association and the Federation of Western India Cine Employees against engaging Pakistani artists.
He had challenged a Bombay High Court order dismissing his petition in October. Noting that his petition was devoid of any merit, the high court had termed his demand as a retrograde step that was against cultural harmony, unity and peace.
The High Court had referred to the recent participation of the Pakistani cricket team in the Cricket World Cup tournament in India. Imposing such a ban would also violate Indian citizens’ fundamental right to carry on business, trade and occupation under Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution, the high court had said.
“One must understand that in order to be a patriot, one need not be inimical to those from abroad, especially, from the neighbouring country. A true patriot is a person who is selfless, who is devoted to the cause of his country, which he cannot be, unless he is a person who is good at heart. A person who is good at heart would welcome in his country any activity which promotes peace, harmony, and tranquility within the country and across the border…
Arts, music, sports, culture, dance and so on are the activities which rise above nationalities, cultures and nations and truly bring about peace, tranquility, unity and harmony in a nation and between nations,” the HC had said.
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