India’s award season is back and the list of Filmfare nominations was released on Tuesday. While surprisingly the list didn’t include Akshay Kumar despite his brilliant performances in Airlift and Rustom, the biggest shock was the inclusion of Pakistani actor Fawad Khan who has been nominated in the Best supporting actor category for his role in Shakun Batra’s ‘Kapoor and Sons’. He will be competing in the category alongside Jim Sarbh, Rajkumar Rao, Rishi Kapoor and Rajat Kapoor.
The nomination is of political importance as Pakistani artists were banned in Indian cinema after Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) gave an ultimatum to all the Pakistani artists to leave the country in wake of the Uri attacks that took place on September 18 leading to 19 martyrs. Since then, the film and television industries of both the nations have maintained a tricky relation. This nomination is a tight slap for those political parties who had a hypocritical approach on the entire issue.
The only possible explanation for this nomination could be that Fawad Khan has been awarded for his work and that’s exactly how things should be! An artist is rewarded based on his work, his performances then why should they be stopped from working based on their nationality. Fawad didn’t get a role in ‘Kapoor and Sons’ or ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ because of his nationality, he got it because of his acting skills.
And, if there was much of patriotism among people why ‘Dear Zindagi’ starring Ali Zafar wasn’t protested like Ae Dil Hai Mushkil. Both India and Pakistan need to think beyond selective patriotism and should value and respect art instead of making it a political issue.
Other than Fawad Khan, both Atif Aslam and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan have been nominated for the best male playback singer category. While Atif has been nominated for ‘Tere Sang Yara’ from ‘Rustom’, Rahat’s nomination has come for ‘Jag Ghoomya’ from ‘Sultan’.