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‘Don’t Be So Narrow Minded’: Supreme Court Ons Plea For Ban On Pakistani Artists

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court dismissed a plea on November 28, that sought to ban Indian visas for Pakistani artists, advising the petitioner against being “so narrow-minded.”Justices Sanjiv Khanna and SVN Bhatti declined to overturn the Bombay High Court’s decision dismissing the plea filed by Faaiz Anwar Qureshi, described as a cine worker and artist.

The bench straightforwardly stated, “You should not press this appeal. Do not be so narrow-minded.”

The petitioner sought a court directive for the Indian government to enforce a comprehensive ban on any collaboration with Pakistani artists, encompassing cine workers, singers, musicians, lyricists, and technicians. The Bombay High Court had already rejected the plea, asserting that it would hinder the promotion of cultural harmony, unity, and peace.

“One must understand that to be a patriot, one need not be inimical to those from abroad, especially from the neighbouring country,” the high court remarked, emphasizing the importance of welcoming activities that promote peace and harmony.

“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,” the court added.

Highlighting the transcendent nature of arts, music, sports, and culture, the high court underscored its capacity to foster unity and harmony across borders. The court drew attention to India’s positive steps in allowing Pakistan’s participation in the Cricket World Cup, citing the government’s efforts in line with Article 51 of the Constitution, which emphasizes the promotion of international peace and security.

In his plea for relief, Qureshi highlighted the unequal treatment, stating that Indian artists seeking opportunities in the Pakistani film industry do not experience a similarly favourable environment as Pakistani artists working in India.

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