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The legendary actor Om Puri talked about Indo-Pak relations in his last interview before passing away. His movie Lashtam Pashtam in which he played a Pakistani driver is set to release on August 10th, 2018. The film was shot in the days before his death.
His last interview with the director Manav Bhalla resurfaced in which Puri had candidly spoken about the India-Pakistan relations. He stressed that people of both the countries have sacrificed since partitions. The actor had said, “I play a Pakistani taxi driver. An Indian who is lost in Pakistan and wishes to go to Islamabad, which is burning due to bomb blasts, asks me to take him there.”
He continued, “I refuse him instantly but the youngster is so desperate to go to Islamabad. Though he is Indian, I decide to help him out, despite knowing that there are a lot of risks involved.” Regarding the message, his character dissipates in the movie actor said, “My character itself is giving out a message.
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Manav has written it in such a way that tells people that hatred should end as it has no specific reason and we are fighting forcefully. We are all humans and we have stayed together for years. Mughal rulers stayed here for almost 600 years. Before independence, we all stayed together, we have learned from all the etiquettes (tehzeeb).
Yes, there have been some issues but like there is a dialogue in the film that issues happen at home also, amongst Hindu brothers also and also amongst the relatives.”
He continued, “When the partition happened, brothers thought that let one brother stay this side and other on the other side and this won’t change much as they can come anytime on each other’s side.
But they never thought the situation would become so bad. So this partition was the partition of relationships, emotions, and feelings and it’s a really painful thing.” The actor vouched for peace between the two countries. He stated that peace through dialogue is the ultimate solution to the existential conflicts between the countries.
“People have to reminded of this again and again — that we must live and let live as we have sacrificed a lot during the partition,” he added.