NEW DELHI — Noted Pakistani actress, singer and former model, Sanam Saeed, feels that Bollywood movies often portray Muslims as “the enemy.”
“We always poke fun at the way Muslims are portrayed in Indian cinema, with the obligatory kajal, namaz cap, and a hidden sprig of green. These characteristics help us identify a Muslim or a Muslim community. We can’t go into details because of the political nature of the topic, but they’ve always been painted as the bad guys,” she told Brut India in a recent interview.
Sanam Saeed predominantly works in Urdu cinema and television. She is best known for portraying the role in Zindagi Gulzar Hai for which she received numerous accolades including Lux Style Awards for Best Television Actress.
In 2019, she was named “Pride of Pakistan” by Daily Times.
Talking about relationships between Pakistani and Indian artists she said the ties were healthy in reality. “In contrast to reality, where collaborations are happening on every level, I don’t think I’ve seen many projects where the two nations are friends and collaborating together.”
Sanam Saeed expressed her sadness that Pakistani artists were banned from India after the Uri attack in 2016. “We didn’t understand, and it came as a surprise at the time.” It was thrilling, liberating, and satisfying to know that these two centers of culture, creativity, and art were working together for the greater good during the time of the cross-border exchange. “It was a bit of a wake-up call when the ban was implemented suddenly,” she said.
Sanam Saeed emphasised how, despite obstacles, artists from both countries are still making an effort to work together. “The intersection of art, culture, and politics seems unnecessary.” Despite the tragedy, I believe we have moved on. Simply put, that’s the way it is. You won’t win by resisting it… Even with the ban in place, I believe we’re all making do as best we can,” she was quoted as saying.