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Nana Patekar puts country first, slams Salman Khan, Karan Johar

Veteran actor says Indian soldiers, not actors, are the real heroes of the country; urges media to ignore comments by the likes of Khan and Johar who have defended Pakistani artistes.

Photo: Shutterbugs Images

Mayur Lookhar

Even as the Indian army battles terrorists in Kashmir and along the LoC (Line of Control) with Pakistan, the Hindi film industry is divided on the issue of employing Pakistani artistes and technicians. The likes of Salman Khan, Karan Johar and Mahesh Bhatt have been facing the ire of some right-wing parties and self-proclaimed patriots on social media for speaking out in favour of the Pakistani artistes.

Veteran actor Nana Patekar, who has never shied away from expressing his opinions, has strongly backed the army’s surgical strike in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) but, more importantly, he has asked the media not to give importance to people who are speaking out in favour of Pakistani artistes.

Speaking to a posse of TV journalists, Patekar said, “Pakistani artistes are secondary. The country comes first. Beyond that I don’t know anything, nor am I interested in knowing other issues."

Continuing in this vein, Patekar said, "Artistes are just a tiny speck. I’m not keen to know what Bollywood has to say about this issue. I’ve spent two-and-a-half years in the army, and the biggest and only heroes are the Indian soldiers.

"We actors are fake, so whatever we actors say, please don't pay too much attention to it. I’m sure you are aware who I am talking about here. Those actors who are muttering shouldn’t be given too much importance. They don’t have the calibre to comment on issues of national interest.”

Watch Patekar’s comments here:

The Indian Motion Picture Producers’ Association (IMPPA) on Friday adopted a resolution not to hire Pakistani artistes and technicians in India.

At a media event on the weekend, Khan created a stir by saying we should stop terrorists and not artistes who come to India legally with a visa. 

Bhatt has long been an advocate of peace between the neighbours, always encouraging cultural ties among the two peoples.

Johar has been facing the ire of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, a small local party, as his upcoming film Ae Dil Hai Mushkil features Pakistani heartthrob Fawad Khan.