Veteran Bollywood actor Naseeruddin Shah has expressed his disappointment at the animosity between India and Pakistan.
In an interview to an Indian entertainment website after returning from his tour of Pakistan, Shah said that Indians were being brainwashed into believing that Pakistan is an enemy country.
“Indians are being brainwashed into believing Pakistan to be the enemy country without being aware of the historical background,” he told Bollywood Hungama
“We can't afford to be swayed by all the political rhetorics. Politicians will change colours whenever it suits them,’ he said.
Shah said that he keeps visiting Pakistan because feels “it is very important to have a person-to-person contact”.
The veteran actor also expressed regret at the fact that Pakistani performers are prevented from performing in India.
“Recently, there was a very disturbing instance of a Pakistani artiste's work being destroyed in Ahmedabad. But they welcome us in Pakistan with open arms,” he said.
Shah had recently taken a trip to Pakistan, during which he attended the Lahore Literary Festival and also visited Karachi for the launch of his memoir.
Shah said that he believes Bollywood legend Dilip Kumar is considered “a God” in Pakistan.
“They don't adore any of their own cultural icons much as they adore Mr. Dilip Kumar. So, I really think it's important for Indian artistes to visit Pakistan,” he added.
He urged artists from both countries to look beyond the political animosity.
“What can we possibly gain from this form of ragging that we practice against Pakistan? It is a bully's way of asserting himself. They are next door neighbors,” he said.
He said that he receives ‘unconditional love’ in Pakistan, and that his recently published book was also received with a warm response in the neighbouring country.