Bollywood has been home to several foreign artistes, who have not only made successful careers but have won millions of fans, too. However, the Cine and Television Artistes Association (CINTAA) has recently decided to act tough on foreign imports working in India sans proper work documents. The latest development is that film and television producers, who had been urged to steer clear of such artistes, have mostly agreed to fall in line.
CINTAA had written to all the producers’ bodies stating that all foreign artistes who work in India should have employment visa; those carrying a business visa would not be allowed to be part of showbiz. The letter also clearly states that producers should discourage their members to work with Pakistani artistes as India does not have a cordial cultural relationship with the neighbouring country.
Vikas Mohan, senior vice president of Indian Film and Television Producers Council (IFTPC), agrees with the terms and conditions that CINTAA has laid down for foreign artistes, especially those from Pakistani. “When we go abroad, we follow their laws. Similarly, foreign artistes should abide by our rules. All of them should register with CINTAA. As for hiring Pakistani actors are concerned, we are also not in its favour. We don’t have a cordial relationship with Pakistan. Why should we allow them here when our artistes are not welcome there?’’ argues Mohan. The IFTPC plans to write to its members in this regard.
TP Agarwal, president of Indian Motion Picture Producers Association (IMPPA), too, has endorsed CINTAA’s stand on foreign artistes. He says, “We should avoid foreign artistes as much as possible unless it is compulsory to the story of the film. I am completely in favour of producers not signing up Pakistani artistes. When we have so much of Indian talent why not give them a chance?’’
The Western India Film Producers’ Association, too, has decided to toe the CINTAA order. Its president, Sangram Shirke, says, “We should discourage producers from hiring foreign artistes. All the four producers’ bodies will hold a core committee meeting after which we shall be sending letters to our members informing them of our decision.”
However Mukesh Bhatt, president of Indian Film and Television Producers’ Guild states that he is yet to receive any request from CINTAA asking them to discontinue association with foreign imports. “I have not received any letter as yet but we will not allow this (disbarring foreign artistes from the industry) to happen,” he says. The Bhatts are known to introduce talent from Pakistan in their films.
CINTAA has decided that it will not allow foreign artistes to take up Indian films and television projects if they have not enrolled with them. Its general secretary, Gajendra Chauhan, says, “Only those who have come to India on an E visa, and not B visa, can enroll with us. Most Pakistani working in our industry of late are on a B visa.”