For all those against the ban on Pakistani artists in India, please spare a moment to read this. You may approve or disapprove, that totally depends on you.
Firstly, whether one belongs to India or Pakistan, there can never be a third opinion on the Uri attacks- either you condemn it, or endorse it. You cannot be equivocal about it. Yes, the Pakistani artists did not pick up guns, they are not terrorists. Banning them will not stop terrorism. But, the least you can expect from them is condemnation of the attacks. Instead of condemning, they decided to get back to their country. Fair enough. They made their opinion loud and clear.
Now, would you want someone who endorses the killing of 18 Indians to work and earn money in your country? Imagine your next-door neighbour constantly abusing your mother, until one day she decides to give it back. Their son is your friend and maybe has nothing to do with the abuse. But, when you confront your friend, he displays arrogance, denies any wrong-doing and chooses to side with his family. He took a side. You didn’t. Would you still be indifferent about the abuses and continue playing with him, knowing that he endorses the actions of his family?
Discontinuing might not stop the abuses, but it’s about standing up for your mother and standing up with her. In spite of being on the wrong side, your friend chose the same, then being right, why shouldn’t you?
Secondly, the argument that the fight is against terrorists and those supporting them, and not against the people of Pakistan, appears to be shallow. Any democratically elected government represents its citizens at national & global level. Any act by such a government is symbolic of its people. An overt and blatant support to terrorists by the government, which is elected by those very citizens of Pakistan, makes them an EQUAL stakeholder in this fight. You cannot strip the people of Pakistan from being responsible for electing governments year after year which have supported terrorist activities against India. Doing so, will make the very tenets of democracy trivial.
Pakistani artists, as much as the other citizens of Pakistan, will have to be held responsible and bear the brunt of all the actions of their government. Period.
Thirdly, at a time when the government of India wants to isolate Pakistan internationally through military, economic and diplomatic actions, it is only appropriate that the isolation should also be extended culturally. There should not be an iota of doubt in the mind of any person in Pakistan that the threshold limit for India has been breached and absolutely no sort of relation can be continued without plugging and disrupting terrorism completely. Enough is enough. A NO means a NO.
Fourthly, and finally, it is easy to sit at home and demand peace with a pen in hand with nothing at stake when a soldier in fighting for you with a gun in hand, and everything at stake. It is not the prerogative of our Jawans to lay down their lives for us. Go and ask those 18 devastated families if they want peace with Pakistan and you’ll get your answer. Had peace been a viable option, we wouldn’t have been debating this in the first place. It is only after trying our hands at peace in every possible manner, and running out of all those options, that we are forced to take this line. There’s a reason why not a single person in the army, whether currently serving or retired, wants to have peace-talks with Pakistan. Not only because they have been losing brothers since years, but also because, unlike you and me, having seen Pakistan so closely, they know what kind of language it perfectly understands.
Some things should better be left to those advisors, experts and analysts in government and the Army, who have breathed diplomacy, war and foreign policies throughout their lives, and not to internet junkies like you and me. For we will conveniently move on with our lives pretty soon, while they will continue to work for our ‘peace’ and stability.