There seems no sign of caution, let alone hostility in Pakistan or in India towards Pakistan’s patent import to India, Ali Zafar. On the contrary several filmmakers are keen to bring Ali back in Bollywood, though for obvious reasons they aren’t screaming from rooftops about it. A film producer who wishes to remain unnamed wants to remake Basu Chatterjee’s 1984 Farooque Shaikh comedy Laakhon Ki Baat with Ali Zafar in the lead.
“I’ve bought the rights for Laakhon Ki Baat and I am waiting for the smoke to clear before I sign Ali for the role,” says the producer . Several other offers are waiting for Ali as soon as his diplomatic and domestic troubles are over. Interestingly, Ali, who is battling sexual harassment charges filed against him by singer Meesha Shafi doesn’t seem to be too affected at least as far his career is concerned. His next film Teefa in Trouble will release in July and distributed by none other than Yash Raj Films. Evidently, the ‘me too’ movement is unlikely to impact entertainers in the Asian subcontinent.
Says a leading filmmaker, “Some of the actresses who are talking about it in hushed whispers are gladly submitting to the so-called couch. It will be very difficult to prove what goes on the casting couch is not consensual in India, because 90 percent of the time it is consensual.”
In the meanwhile Ali Zafar has sued Meesha for a whopping 1 billion rupees. The ball and all else is now in the court. When this correspondent contacted Ali, this is what he had to say. “I have to abide by my legal council’s advice to not talk about it in media. Matter is in the court hence I can’t give any statement or comment on it. Hope you understand.”