On November 28, 2023 (today), the Supreme Court (SC) refused to entertain a petition filed by Faaiz Anwar Qureshi, a cine worker, seeking to ban the engagement of Pakistani artists in India and asked the petitioner “Do not be so narrow-minded”. He approached the SC challenging the decision of the Bombay High Court which dismissed the petition and the matter was heard today by SC judges, Justice SVN Bhatti and Justice Sanjiv Khanna. The bench, while refusing the petition, stated that it was not inclined to interfere with the decision of the Bombay HC. The SC said “You should not press (this petition)...”
The Counsel submitted that the Judgment delivered by the HC contains certain comments criticizing the petitioner’s perception of patriotism. To which, Justice Khanna replied, “Sorry, do not do this. This is a good lesson for you. Do not be so narrow-minded.” The petition filed by Mr. Qureshi sought directions to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, and the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to impose a complete ban on Indian citizens, associations, companies, and firms from employing or soliciting any performance or work, entering into any association, taking any services, and so on with any Pakistani artiste including its singers, lyricists, musicians, technicians, cine workers.
Earlier while the Bombay HC bench, Justice Firdosh P Pooniwalla and Justice Sunil B Shukre, dismissed the petition, it observed that “One must understand that in order to be patriot, one need not be inimical to those from abroad especially, from the neighboring country. A true patriot is a person who is selfless, who is devoted to the cause of his country, which he cannot be unless he is a person who is good at heart. A person who is good at heart would welcome in his country any activity that promotes peace, harmony, and tranquility within the country and across the border, Arts, music, sports, culture, dance, and so on are the activities that rise above nationalities, cultures, and nations and truly bring about peace, tranquility, unity, and harmony in nation and between nations. This petition, with the reliefs it seeks, is a retrograde step in promoting cultural harmony, unity, and peace, and has no merit in it.”
The HC also noted that Pakistan was a participant in the Cricket World Cup which happened only because of the Indian government’s appreciable positive steps to promote peace and harmony in consonance with Article 51 of the Indian Constitution which states that “Promotion of international peace and security The State shall endeavor to promote international peace and security; maintain just and honorable relations between nations; foster respect for international law and treaty obligations in the dealings of organized peoples with one another; and encourage settlement of international disputes by arbitration PART IVA FUNDAMENTAL DUTIES.