Indian diaspora in Australia is outraged as a number of anti-Indian artists from Pakistan who allegedly support Islamic extremism in Kashmir are going to be part of Indian Film festival in Sydney from 7th to 13th May 2017.
A newly formed and lesser known group is organising this film festival for the first time in Sydney in which a large number of artists from Indian film industry are expected to participate according to the film festival’s website: http://iffaa.com.au
What came as a shock to Indian community here was their plan to host a number artists from Pakistan who are infamous for their anti-Indian propaganda and alleged support to Islamic extremism in Kashmir, which they often exhibit on open and public platforms.
One has to wonder if these Pakistani artists are supporting extremism out in the open, then how far they would go in private?
But the more painful question is, why would an Indian group organising Indian film festival invite such artists who are not only anti-Indian but also promote extremism and are a threat to the peace in the region.
Here are just a few examples of the extent to which these artists, who are invited to the Sydney film festival, have gone to defame India and promote extremism –
1. Ali Azmat: He has released an inflammatory song dubbed as ‘anthem for Kashmir’ titled as “Kashmir ka Naseeb hai Azaadi” (Kashmir’s destiny is freedom) in November 2016.This song contains strongly objectionable lyrics, incites violence, promotes terrorist like Burhan Wani as martyr and calls for separation of many parts of India along with Kashmir.
This song contains strongly objectionable lyrics, incites violence, promotes terrorist like Burhan Wani as martyr and calls for separation of many parts of India along with Kashmir.
2. Faysal Qureshi: In an award function, he dedicated the award to militants in who are “fighting”, who are killing innocent Indian citizens in Kashmir and Indian security forces for decades now.
3. Fakhr-e-Alam: He has called for Kashmiris to join Pakistan or be separated from India. He also runs propaganda levelling allegations that Indian media and government are fanning extremism, whereas the reality is exactly opposite as it is Pakistan’s state and non-state actors have been spreading terrorism in all parts of India
The Indian diaspora is angered on the insensitivity displayed by the organisers towards the very country they hail from and whose soldiers continue to lay their lives protecting the families of all Indians including NRIs. Some community members are also questioning if the organisers have some ulterior motives behind inviting these particular Pakistani artists and the film festival is only a façade to run their agenda.
As this issue has is shaping into a controversy not only in Australia but in India as well, many Indian artists may cancel their participation in this film festival.
Especially, when the situation between India and Pakistan has been very tense in last few months, with Pakistan about to hang an innocent Indian on unfounded charges of spying, it is expected that such a move will have a big backlash among guests joining this film festival.
The real question is, if you are an Indian, and you feel for Indian citizens who lose their lives to Pakistan promoted extremism, and you feel for the soldiers who sacrifices their lives to keep India safe – would you support such film festival?