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Update: Ushna Shah slams Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘Heeramandi’

Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s upcoming sequence “Heeramandi” has been triggering an impromptu debate on the web.

The star-studded sequence is ready within the premise of Lahore’s red-light district, popularly known as Heera Mandi, however a Bollywood director narrating the next story has sparked an uproar.

The newest star to share reservations on why such tales aren’t being narrated by Pakistani filmmakers is the fiery Ushna Shah.

Lashing out at Bhansali, Shah expressed her displeasure and deemed it an appropriation of Pakistani tradition. She wrote: “It’s not his to make! It’s not theirs to make! This is so infuriating!”

The Bashir Momin actor burdened that an Indian filmmaker utilizing Heera Mandi as a setting is “appropriation”. She wrote, “Netflix doesn’t fund original projects for Pakistan. This is an opportunity taken away from Pakistani directors and filmmakers. Collaboration is one thing but this is appropriation.”

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“Heeramandi is set in Lahore which is in Pakistan, and even if we abide by the pre-partition argument: Mughal history is often denied by India and it is what Pakistani history is set on (school books etc). India has a plethora of rich culture and history to base films on, whereas we predominantly relate to the Mughals. This would be like a Pakistani director making Mahabharata,” she wrote.

She elaborated additional, “Plus it would lose authenticity: The Urdu language with Farsi roots always seems pretentious when one sees it in Indian films. We can’t do Sanskrit like them and they won’t be able to do this like us.”

According to Shah, Bhansali’s challenge is taking alternatives away from Pakistani filmmakers, “SLB would have made it lovely, however it could have been even higher had they made it a collaboration with say, Saqib Malik. That is my opinion and I’m sticking to it,” she concluded.

Heeramandi will discover tales of courtesans, the hidden cultural actuality of Heera Mandi in Lahore. It is ready to be a sequence about love, betrayal, succession and politics within the ‘kothas’. 

Previously, Yasir Hussain, Hira Tareen and Anoushey Ashraf shared their views on why such tales aren’t narrated by Pakistani filmmakers.

On the work entrance, Ushna’s portrayal of a robust resilient girl within the drama serial Akhir Kab Tak has created a benchmark and is being liked by the drama buffs.

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