Mahwish Hayat slams Amitabh Bachchan for allegedly refusing to play role of a Pakistani in upcoming Bollywood movie

Bollywood and toxic hypernationalism go hand in hand. India is extremely diverse, with a very contrasting culture that varies from state to state. In such an atmosphere, one thing that unites them all is the cinema. Hence, due to the influence it has, even the art and Bollywood could not secure itself from being politically influenced.

The art, while has tried to soften Indo-Pak rivalry in some contexts, has also been a source of strengthening the hate narrative. Some celebrities, specifically the Bachchan’s have been very open about their support for Modi-led government and Hindu extremists. Though Modi was already quite popular in Gujrat, it was Amitabh Bachchan’s marketing of Gujrat tourism that increased his influence, ultimately leading to him being the premier.

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How BJP systematically and very thoughtfully radicalised Indian society in the last five years is a horrifying tale in itself. What is even threatening for the peace process is the artist community picking sides, some for their personal gains while others simply to survive in the hateful atmosphere.

It can be well-reflected by the recent act by Amitabh Bachchan, where he has reportedly turned down the role of Pakistani protagonist in Resul Pookutty’s directorial debut. The reports also suggest that he has refused to take the role because he doesn’t want to be labelled as anti-nationalist.

Pakistani screen sensation Mahwish Hayat promptly responded to his stance, saying it is extremely disappointing to an artist of Bachchan’s stature stepping back, owing to extremist’s pressure.

”If true, this is very disappointing. Movies have the power to build bridges especially when tensions are high. I guess that in the end nationalism trumps everything – I hope that we can also take heed before we gush about all things Bollywood in future.” – Mahwish wrote.

People also agreed to Hayat’s statement:

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