Dear Fellow Journalist, Fawad Khan Is Here to Stay; Deal With It!
By Namita Handa Jolly
This letter is in response to the Indian journalist who wrote an open letter to Fawad Khan asking him to go back to Pakistan. The letter was published on 20 September 2016.
Dear fellow journalist aka an ardent Indian fan,
At the outset, let me clarify that I LIKE the svelte Pakistani actor Fawad Khan not because he and I share the same birthday (my jaw hurts as the smile refuses to fade away from my face but it’s true. Yay!), but because he’s a self-effacing person, who’s here in India, just like Sunny Leone, Katrina Kaif, Jacqueline Fernandez, to do one thing and that’s to act. A simple job that’s now turned into a cross-border brouhaha thanks to my colleagues. Let’s leave the politics to our politicians, not that they’re doing some path-breaking job about it but at least they’ll do a far better job than you.
Let me again clarify, I’m not singling you out. I’m merely addressing it to you because you have now become the latest face to join Pakophobia. Your love letter to Fawad Khan was not just harsh but also baffling, and it seems money has gotten to your head, dude.
But here’s a fact, it’s not us that made Fawad famous, the actor was already a superstar in Pakistan with a net worth of about $2 million. What we did was give his popularity a little impetus. So I really don’t think it was the popularity or the money that dragged Fawad from Lahore to Mumbai. Did you think, it could be his passion for acting that brought him here? May be… Being a journalist, I’m sure you would have come across the cliche, ‘travel where your work takes you’. Haina?
Also here is a little reminder again, Fawad is an actor and not a politician. It’s unfair on our part to expect him to say anything against his country just because he’s done a couple of Bollywood films or we added a few more female fans in his already visible popularity graph. Similarly, it would be unfair for the US to do the same with Priyanka Chopra just because they’ve probably “given her more money than what she could have possibly earned here” (in your twisted words).
Fawad and Priyanka are actors and acting is their craft and mixing craft with nationality is not a smart thing to do. And let’s admit it, as a nation, we aren’t pretty tolerant to celebs speaking their mind. *Cough, Aamir Khan, cough, anyone?*
This is not a one-sided relationship. Pakistan too has reciprocated, encouraged and allowed some famous Bollywood actors to work in her country. Naseeruddin Shah in Khuda Kay Liye, Om Puri in Actor In-Law, Kirron Kher in Khamosh Pani, to name a few. Culture knows no boundaries and thank god for the film industries to understand it, ’cuz if we leave it to some politicians and a few journalists (like you), you guys would just deepen the faultline and make our neighbouring lives more miserable. Phew!
So why accuse Pakistan alone for supporting piracy? If I remember correctly, didn’t someone leak Udta Punjab online a day before it’s official release? Raise your hands, if you had illegally downloaded the latest season of Game of Thrones on Torrent before it was premiered on TV? Sorry guys, India-Pakistan are bhai-bhaiwhen it comes to piracy.
Fawad, you don’t lack courage. You don’t lack conviction. You definitely don’t lack guts, you are one actor, who at an early stage of his career took up a challenging role in Kapoor and Sons and has been applauded for it. You see what you’ve earned here is only because of your hard work and capabilities. We’ve showered love on you because you deserve it (and also because of your dreamy eyes) not because you are from Pakistan.
Take care, Fawad, and don’t let some random journalist ever tell you to leave India, because Ae Dil Hai Mushkil if it ever came to you leaving Bollywood. So feel at home!
An ardent Bollywood fan and a friendly neighbour