Jammu, August 25:
Almost one-and-half month long unrest in Kashmir has given a big setback to the primary dream of former Chief Minister and founder of PDP, Late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed as over half-a-dozen filmmakers have planned to shift their shooting venue from Kashmir to the neighbouring Himachal Pradesh.
Sources in Bollywood and those who are bridge between Jammu and Kashmir government and bollywood filmmakers confirmed that around half-a-dozen filmmakers from Mumbai have planned to shift their venue of shooting from Kashmir to the other states.
One of the main examples of this is the shifting of shooting venue of Bollywood superstar Salman Khan’s upcoming movie ‘tubelight’ from Ladakh region to Himachal Pradesh’s Manali.
“Due to present situation in Kashmir, almost half-a-dozen filmmakers, who have decided to shoot in Kashmir and have planned all the things, now have shifted their venues as they don’t want to take any risk,” said a person close to a filmmaker in Mumbai.
In recent past Bollywood filmmakers Vishal Bhardwaj and Kabir Khan shoot their movies Haider and Bajrangi Bhaijaan respectively in different locations of Kashmir valley.
It is worth mentioning that it all was initiated in April-May 2015, when the then Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed met leading Bollywood filmmakers and actors in Mumbai and requested them to rediscover the state as a destination for the film shoots.
The strong delegation of J&K government including the then CM, Mufti Sayeed, Deputy CM Dr Nirmal Singh and Minister for Finance, Dr Haseeb A. Drabu gone to Mumbai and those who attended the meeting included film-makers Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Govind Nihalani, Sudhir Mishra, Vishal Bharadwaj, Madhur Bhandarkar and actors Manoj Bajpai, Anupam Kher, Irrfan Khan, Soha Ali Khan, Gul Panag and Gulshan Grover. Earlier in the day he met the Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan and the legendary actor Dilip Kumar, separately.
The state, once a favorite destination of the Mumbai film industry for locales, fell off the radar due to the insurgency which was at its peak in the 1990s.
Mufti, during a breakfast interaction with media persons at Jammu in November 2015 told this scribe when asked about the latest development into Bollywood’s entry to Kashmir, “We will do it Chori-Chori Chupke-Chupke and was hopeful that Kashmir would become favourite destination of Bollywood filmmakers like it was in 60’s or 70’s.”
Meanwhile, sources in Tourism also said that the present unrest has already broken the backbone of tourism sector in last 45 days and if the filmmakers who have planned shooting in Kashmir in next 3-4 months too shift their venues, it is really very sad and a big loss to tourism sector in the state.
Mufti was then eager to revive its association with the Bollywood and assured all the facilities including foolproof security for the shoots, but the present situation has given a setback to that positive initiative towards peace and economy in Kashmir.