Joining the likes of Bollywood stars Arjun Kapoor and Parineeti Chopra, Dia Mirza has expressed dismay over the prohibition of Pakistani artists working across the border. Speaking at the Mumbai launch of her upcoming web series Kaafir – which sees her take on the role of a Pakistani girl Kainaaz – the famed starlet said the ban proves to be disservice to both countries.
“Art always suffers at the hands of fear but it is also reunited and refuelled because of fear. I believe that these prejudices imposed on us don’t just take us away from our neighbours but they also take us away from ourselves,” said the Sanju star. “And when we deny ourselves the opportunity to communicate and exchange, we are only expressing to the world how fearful we are.”
In response to Dia's comments on the politically-charged issue as well as her upcoming portrayal as a wrongfully convicted Pakistani woman, Twitter users had a lot to say. A few felt that just the title of Kaafir was offensive towards the Hindu community.
You have not yet seen film .. but the very word "kaafir" must have rejuvenated your soul because "kaafir" is an Urdu word depicting hatred for Hindus and you are indisputably a hindu-community-hater. How much more transparent you want to be on such satanic emots ? Shame on you...— N B VYAS (@narottam_vyas) May 31, 2019
Kaafir is the word used by muslims for #Hindus not vice versa smart bollywood..it is a urdu word in quran not sanskrit..to romanticize pakistan u are creating fake narrative to demean Indian army, India..sick..Can u make movie on how army saved thousands during flood in Kashmir?— Anu Tyagi (@AnuParashar) May 28, 2019
One user felt that Dia was being 'anti-India' and 'anti-Hindu.'
Most Bollywood folks want to gather money from both Indian and Pakistani fan bases. Hence, their pretentiousness. Ms Dia Mirza masquerades as an 'activist' on social media, but what she really does is spread anti-India anti-Hindu propaganda. #Kaafir ...Pakistan = Terror Capital. https://t.co/EpZYM1GclP— Johny Payne (@johny_payne) May 28, 2019
However, one fan saw the film as a way of actually bridging the gap between the countries.
An other amazing movie #Kaafir by the most beautiful and my favourite actress @deespeak. other main character is @mohituraina. The #trailer released, shows how heartly people of the both countries (#pakistan & #india) are far away from each other.— Zahoor Gabol (@zahoorgabol) May 28, 2019
congratulations #DiaMirza jee! pic.twitter.com/xEOJWf723j
Releasing on June 15, Kaafir unravels a powerful socio-political drama set in present-day Kashmir. Given the tears, sweat and hard work that seems to have gone into telling Kainaaz’s story, the show seems to be among the top web series in recent times, if not the best. It centres on the life of the Pakistani woman and her child who are held hostage and how a journalist tries to get justice for them.
Kaafir has been directed by Sonam Nair while Bhavani Iyer has penned the script. “There were times during the shooting when the shot was over, the camera was off and I was still in the character and broke down crying. My director would come, hug me and we would cry together,” mentioned Mirza. She further added, “At times, Mohit (co-star Mohit Raina) would look at me and say ‘Don’t get into the character so much, you won’t be able to come out.’ I think I had no choice because this character was only pulling me to go deeper,” she concluded.