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After the retaliation by the Indian Air Force (IAF) in response to the terror attacks by JEM in Pulwama, Pakistan has come out and decided to place a ban on Indian films and TV shows being telecast in their country. In all fairness this step taken by them is up there with the most pointless and stupid things I’ve seen in my life.

This has come across as a classic case of ‘Grapes are sour.’ Indian producers and the Bollywood fraternity as a whole came together to a decision to not release our films in Pakistan and nor work with Pakistani artists from here on, after the cowardly terrorist attacks that took the lives of more than 40 of our CRPF Jawaans in Pulwama. Their point to ban our films hence is moot.

Many might/are wondering how is banning their artists from working in Bollywood or not releasing our films in Pakistan going to make any difference? It sure as hell makes a load of difference. All the monies they earn with our films or by working on our films, in the end, they are going to go and help the Pakistani economy, which in turn is spending that money in sponsoring terrorism.

And if people might be wondering that, will that affect our industry, not releasing our films in Pakistan? Not so much. It will have negligible or no effect on the ‘worldwide’ box office collections as such. But it is going to affect them so much more than us. In a way, it can be said that their theatres and their distributors are dependent on our films, as around 70 per cent of the total revenue of theatres in Pakistan comes from Bollywood.

The kind of ‘losses’ that the Indian film producers might incur can be easily covered through various other avenues as the market is constantly evolving with changing times and this is just the same.

Coming back to the decision by Pakistan to ban films; if we don’t even plan to release our films in Pakistan, what exactly are you trying to ban? Or just trying to get some moral victory for yourself? While they think that they have hurt India or the industry by doing this, they haven’t and in actuality all they have done is, as the saying goes, shot themselves in the foot.

By – Amul Vikas Mohan

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