The Indian award season kicked off with the Stardust Awards Sunday night and conspicuous in their absence were all Pakistani artistes that had worked in Bollywood throughout 2016 and were given the silent treatment at the awards. 2016 marked the debut of Mawra Hocane in Sanam Teri Kasam – a performance that critics had acclaimed as the saving grace of the film. No nomination for her. India went wild over Fawad Khan’s performance in Kaoor & Sons but again, there was no nomination for him though the film was a hot winner all evening. And finally, though FK’s role in Ae Dil Hai Mushkil was minute, he was part of the songs that Ranbir danced to and Fawad’s presence was sorely missed. More? This was the first time that Atif wasn’t a nominee, despite the fact that his songs were hits in Rustom and A Flying Jutt, and even Rahat Fateh Ali Khan did not get a mention for ‘Jag Ghoomiya’ from Sultan.
We don’t blame Bollywood, after all they did award Fawad Khan for Best Debut when the times were happy. Things have been different in the last few months and mentioning Pakistan in Bollywood has been tantamount to treason. The stakes are so high that Shah Rukh Khan apparently had to promise MNS and pay a penalty for featuring Mahira Khan in Raees; he came away pledging that he would never feature a Pakistani artist in any of his future films. We get it.
So we did expect Bollywood to glaze over Pakistani artists and we were amused when – in a tongue-in-cheek manner of course – the hosts of the night, Abhishek Bachchan and Riteish Deshmukh poked fun at the controversial exit of Pakistani stars from India.
Roasting Akshay Kumar’s Airlift, Bachchan suggested that there should be another part to the famous flick, which of course if you haven’t guessed it yet, should be Airlift 2…Pakistan and should have Ali Zafar, Fawad Khan, Atif Aslam, and others on it. Or, if that isn’t possible, then perhaps, a change of cast! Let’s be clear, there was no malice involved; it was just an unfortunate satire on the situation.
If you haven’t checked out the awards or this fun segment yet, check out the video on YouTube. (13:28 to be exact for the good part!)