The Bombay High Court has rejected a plea to ban Pakistani artists from working in India, stating that being a true patriot doesn't mean being hostile to foreigners.
A division bench of Justices Sunil Shukre and Firdosh Pooniwalla on October 17 dismissed the petition filed by one Faaiz Anwar Qureshi, who claimed to be a cine worker and artist.
The petition sought a complete ban on employing or soliciting any work or performance, taking of any services, or entering into any association and so on with any Pakistani artists, including its cine workers, singers, musicians, lyricists and technicians.
Dismissing the petition, the Bombay High Court said that the "petitioner's perception of patriotism and understanding of the concept of fundamental rights... is misplaced. One must understand that in order to be a patriot, one need not be inimical to those from abroad..."
The Bombay High Court went on to define a "true patriot", and said of the petition that it is a "retrograde step in promoting cultural harmony, unity and peace, and has no merit in it."
The court further stated that, these kind of bans would agitate against the fundamental right guaranteed under Articles 19 (1) (a), 19 (1) (g) and 21 of the Constitution of India and therefore, they would be manifestly illegal.
After the Uri attack in 2016, many ongoing projects with Pakistani artists were shelved. Later, after the Pulwama attack in 2019, non-acceptance amongst the Indian public of Pakistani artists became more prevalent.