Zee owner Subhash Chandra joins right-wing chorus, wants Pakistani actors out of India


Media tycoon and the owner of Zee channels, Subhash Chandra, has joined the right-wing bandwagon supporting the demands of Pakistani actors to leave India.

Chandra, now a Rajya Sabha MP with the BJP support and a known supporter of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, took to Twitter on Saturday to condemn Pakistani prime minister, Nawaz Sharif’s speech at the UN.

 Subhash Chandra

He tweeted, “unfortunate stance of Mia Sharif at UN. Zee is considering stopping Zindgi programs from Pak,as well artists from there should leave.”

Chandra comments come after Sharif glorified the slain Hizbul poster boy Burhan Wani in his speech at the UN.

Slamming Sharif for glorifying Wani at the UN, India had said that his remarks showed Pakistan’s continued attachment to terrorism.

“Pak PM Sharif at #UNGA glorifies Hizbul terrorist Burhan Wani in UN’s highest forum. Shows continued Pak attachment to terrorism,” External Affairs Ministry spokespersonVikas Swarup tweeted.

Chandra’s channel Zindagi showcases a lot of TV programmes from Pakistan in Urdu. One of the Pakistani actors facing the threat to leave India is Fawad Khan, who has featured in several drama series broadcast on Zindagi channel. They included ‘Zindagi Gulzar Hai’ and ‘Humsafar.’

Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena had warned Pakistani artists working in Bollywood to leave India immediately, failing which their shootings will be stalled.

Curiously, Chandra had launched his TV channel amidst much fanfare and had flaunted his meeting with Sharif, when he visited India to attend Modi’s oath taking ceremony.

Puneet Goenka, the managing director and CEO of Zee Entertainment, had then tweeted, “Jodey Dilon Ko:Chairman Sh SubhashChandra in conversation with Pakistan PM NawazSharif at the launch of @ZeeZindagiTV.”

The Indian entertainment franternity had hailed this initiative as a media coup.

Public Relations expert, Dilip Cherian, had said, “Media coup ! MT @punit_goenka: SubhashChandra in conversation with #NawazSharif at launch of @ZeeZindagiTV.”

While reporting the objective of Zindagi TV channel, Chandra-owned newspaper, DNA, had said, “Zindagi is the latest channel to be launched by the Zee Entertainment Enterprises that will showcase Pakistani serials and telefilms. This move is completely in line with the company mantra ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam‘ which means ‘the whole world is a family’ as the company’s owners believe that though nations are superficially different in terms of language and culture, the stories and emotions are universal.”

Questions are bound to be asked if Chandra has stopped believing in the philosophy of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam.

Meanwhile, social media users have been quick to remind the Zee owner how two of his biggest ‘nationalist’ reporters had gone overboard flaunting their meeting with Sharif in May 2014.

Zee News had devoted more than 12 minutes of coverage in just one bulletin to express just how overwhelmed it was to have received the approval from Sharif.

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