Shiv Sena, Raj Thackeray condemn Salman Khan for supporting Pak artistes

Khan had yesterday stated that Pakistani artistes shouldn't be linked with terrorists.

Keyur Seta

At an event yesterday (30 September), actor Salman Khan expressed support for Pakistani actors by stating that they shouldn’t be linked with terrorists. He said, “They are artistes, not terrorists. It’s the government who gives them work permits and visas. Art and terrorism should not be mixed.”

His statement created an uproar in the country as his statement came just a day after the Indian Motion Pictures Producers Association (IMPPA) passed a resolution of banning Pakistani artistes from working in India. The decision was taken in the wake of the terror attacks in Uri in Jammu and Kashmir which killed 18 Indian soldiers.

His remarks also received severe flak from parties like Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) and Shiv Sena. The MNS had given a ‘deadline’ to Pakistani artistes to leave India right after the Uri attack.

Talking to a news channel yesterday, Raj Thackeray, MNS chief, said, “What we need to understand is that the soldiers who die defending our borders, it’s not that they have some personal enmity with Pakistan. And the bullets that hit them aren’t filmi bullets. They are real, unlike the ones Salman faces in his movies.” 

Interestingly, Thackeray has had a good rapport with Khan's family in the past. When the actor was convicted for the 2002 hit-and-run case in 2015, the party leader had paid a visit to his residence to meet his father Salim Khan. Before that, in 2013, the Bajrangi Bhaijaan actor had also been the ambassador of MNS’ Koli Mohatsav in Mumbai. 

In a latest development, Shiv Sena too has come out lambasting Khan for his statement, suggesting he migrate to Pakistan. Their leader Manisha Kayande said, “Salman Khan needs to be taught a lesson. If he has so much love for Pakistani artistes, he should migrate there.” 

There have been continuous reactions on Khan's statement on social media, both in support and against the superstar. The Sultan actor has so far not reacted to the condemning remarks.