Supreme Court Rejects Ban on Pakistani Artists

The Supreme Court of India has dismissed a petition urging a complete ban on the employment of Pakistani artists in the country. The plea, previously rejected by the Bombay High Court in October, sought to prevent Indian citizens from engaging or seeking performances from Pakistani artists.

A Bench comprising Justices Sanjiv Khanna and SVN Bhatti upheld the Bombay High Court’s decision. Justice Khanna, before dismissing the case, advised the petitioner not to adopt a narrow-minded perspective.

The Bombay High Court, in its earlier ruling, found the petition lacking in merit, describing it as a regressive step against cultural harmony, unity, and peace. The High Court highlighted the recent participation of the Pakistani cricket team in the Cricket World Cup held in India, citing positive measures taken by the Government of India for overall peace and harmony.

Moreover, the High Court reasoned that the petitioner’s notion of patriotism was misplaced, emphasizing that imposing such bans would violate the fundamental right of Indian citizens to carry on business and trade.

The petitioner, Faaiz Anwar Qureshi, a self-proclaimed cine worker, referred to a resolution by the All Indian Cine Workers Association (AICWA), which decided against involving Pakistani artists in the Indian film industry. Qureshi argued that not granting the relief sought might lead to discrimination against Indian artists in Pakistan.

He further contended that allowing Pakistani artists in India could potentially harm Indian citizens’ commercial opportunities. The petitioner expressed concerns that Pakistani artists might exploit business opportunities in India, to the detriment of Indian citizens.

In conclusion, the Supreme Court’s rejection of the plea reinforces the principles of cultural inclusivity and underscores the importance of fostering harmonious relations in the entertainment industry. The decision highlights the judiciary’s stance against measures that could impede cultural exchange and cross-border collaboration in the arts.