In a recent ruling, the Bombay High Court dismissed a petition advocating for a complete ban on Pakistani artists performing or engaging in work in India. The court’s decision emphasized the importance of fostering harmony and peace across borders, asserting that patriotism doesn’t necessitate animosity towards those from neighboring countries, especially in the arts and cultural exchange.
The division bench, comprised of Justices Sunil Shukre and Firdosh Pooniwalla, dismissed the petition filed by Faaiz Anwar Qureshi, a self-identified cine worker and artist. Qureshi’s petition urged the court to direct the Union government to enforce a blanket prohibition on any involvement or collaboration with Pakistani artists, including cine workers, singers, musicians, lyricists, and technicians, by Indian citizens, companies, firms, or associations.
In its dismissal of the petition, the court remarked that the sought-after reliefs were regressive in promoting cultural harmony, unity, and peace. The judges stressed that being a patriot does not entail hostility towards individuals from other countries, particularly those neighboring India.
The court stated, “A true patriot is selfless and dedicated to the cause of their country, and this dedication stems from being good at heart. A person with a good heart would welcome any activity in their country that promotes peace, harmony, and tranquility, whether within the nation or across borders.”
Furthermore, the bench emphasized that art, music, sports, and culture transcend nationalities, cultures, and boundaries, serving as unifying elements that foster peace, unity, and harmony within and between nations.
The High Court’s ruling stands as a testament to the belief that promoting interactions and collaborations with artists from across borders contributes to the enrichment of culture, nurtures peace, and fosters a sense of unity, thereby playing a pivotal role in achieving harmony between nations.
Additionally, the court highlighted the “positive steps” taken by the Indian government in promoting international peace and security. It cited the example of allowing the Pakistani cricket team to participate in the World Cricket Cup held in India, asserting that entertaining such petitions would undermine such efforts.