Mahesh Bhatt Bats for Indo-Pak Ties Through Cultural Space

New Delhi
Mahesh Bhatt Bats for Indo-Pak Ties Through Cultural Space

Filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt has urged for the utilisation of cultural space as a means to foster ties between India and neighbour Pakistan.

"I have always crusaded for Indo-Pak peace through the cultural space. People used to criticize me when I first released films in Pakistan. But today you have got Pakistani soaps and shows doing successfully in India," Bhatt said.

The filmmaker was present at a fashion show here late last evening where designers from Pakistan showed their creations in support of the orphan girl child.

The fashion show, is a precursor to the four-day long lifestyle exposition, 'Alishan Pakistan' organised by Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) in collaboration with FICCI, which begins here today.

Meanwhile, Bhatt said the cultural exchanges between India and Pakistan, which he crusaded for years, will "eventually fulfill the dream of the father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi of the two countries walking hand-in-hand."

"Not necessarily films, but the fashion industry is also a good medium through which message could be delivered," Bhatt said.

"Messaging is not necessarily through one route. Yes cinema has a mass audience. But like cinema, lifestyle and culture could be one of the ways to make slow inroads into the consciousness of the people," the filmmaker said,

Calling for deeper commercial investment between India and Pakistan, Bhatt said that the investments in any form would ensure "harmonious ties and peace between the two countries."

"I think India and Pakistan are young countries and lifestyle is something which obsesses the young people. I think the exotic Pakistani fashion designs will fascinate the young Indians," he told PTI.

"When you wear something from another space you are automatically more positively predisposed towards it," he added.

Praising India's gesture of offering aid to Pakistan flood relief, Bhatt said the two countries have to pick up on such cues in order to make headway in their relationship.

Along with orphan girls and professional models, Bhatt also walked the ramp for Pakistan textile brand Lala who has collaborated with an NGO, Samarpan Foundation, to promote rights of the girl child at the fashion show.

The filmmaker also recalled his 1997 film Tamanna which revolved around an orphan girl child and eunuch.

13-year-old Laxmi, one of the girls from Samarpan who walked the ramp said, "I am quite nervous as this is my first time walking the ramp. But this is a great experience for me. I want to become a model in the future."

"Everyone can't do things in a big way. Through this fashion show, we are in our own small way doing what we can to build bonds," Bhatt said.

Other participants at the fashion show included Umar Sayeed, Warda Saleem, Sania Maskatiya, Maheen Karim, Deepak Perwani and Faiza Samee along with a few budding designers.

Meanwhile, among the over 250 exhibitors at the lifestyle expo, top textile houses from Pakistan such as Bareeze, Chen One, Lala Textiles, Kayseria and Khaadi are set to showcase their wares.

Lawn manufacturers including Al Karam, Gul Ahmed, Asim Jofa and Sana Safinaz would also present their collections along with exhibitors of a vast array of Pakistani jewellery, accessories, home textiles, furniture, carpets, marbles, granite, agro products and service sectors.

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