NEW DELHI: Delhi Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Manoj Tiwari, who made a name for himself as an entertainment personality before entering politics, wants to keep the artiste in himself alive, but refrains from expressing his viewpoint on the demand for putting a two-year ban on Pakistani talent working in Hindi film industry.
It all started in 2016 when cross-border India-Pakistan tension spilled over into the entertainment world, with some Indian political outfits imposing a ban on Pakistanis and a few Pakistani theatres pulling down Indian movies from their big screens. The ban came after the September 18 terror attack that killed 19 Indian soldiers in Uri in Jammu and Kashmir.
The issue resurfaced earlier this month when Union Minister Babul Supriyo said that Pakistan's popular singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan's voice in the song "Ishtehaar" from the Bollywood film "Welcome to New York" must be dubbed by someone else. Supriyo also demanded ban on Pakistani artistes in Bollywood.
Asked about his views on the same, Tiwari took a brief pause before choosing to steer away from the controversy.
"Hum ispe kuch nahi bolna chahte (I don't want to say anything about the issue)," Tiwari told IANS here with a smile.
He turned the focus to how he is trying to balance his career in showbiz and political ambitions.
"I don't get time to do films and other projects. It took me four years to complete ‘Yadav Paan Bhandar'. I used to complete a film in 30 days...The talent with which I got acclaim… I want to keep Manoj Tiwari, the artiste, alive despite all the hectic schedules which come with being a politician," he said.
Tiwari shot to fame with Bhojpuri projects like "Sasura Bada Paise Wala", "Daroga Babu I Love You" and "Bandhan Toote Na". He also sang "Jiya ho Bihar ke lala" in "Gangs of Wasseypur", and participated in the Bollywood superstar Salman Khan-hosted reality show "Bigg Boss".
Tiwari's last Bhojpuri film was "Gobar Singh" in 2013. Now, he is excited about "Yadav Paan Bhandar".
"I get disturbed when I see people mocking someone for doing menial work. I did several small work and have reached here. While growing up, I used to be a driver. I took up the job to earn some extra money," he said.
Tiwari added that his upcoming film is on the same lines.
He has also launched an album titled "Rang Aur Pani Ka Ishq", which has a song dedicated to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"The song has been made after market survey...This song is special for me because this is part of my service of the nation," he said.
Tiwari has mentioned some politicians in one of his songs in the Holi special album.
"No one will react to the song. We have the freedom on Holi and go by ‘bura na mano Holi hai' (Don't mind, it's Holi) notion," he said.