Expulsion of Kashmiri students shameful: Puri

LAHORE: Indian actor Om Puri has called the recent episode of suspending 67 Kashmiri students for celebrating Pakistan’s victory against India in cricket’s Asia Cup- a “shameful” act which should be “condemned.”

These Kashmiri students of Swami Vivekanand Subharti University in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, India were punished because they were rooting for the Pakistani cricket team in India.

When The News caught up with Om Puri on the sidelines of his press conference on his play ‘Teri Amrita’ being staged at Alhamra from 12th to 15th March 2014, Om Puri, found no reason to politicise sports, saying he had himself cheered Pakistani cricketers Javed Miandad and Wasim Akram in the past.

Laughing at the entire episode, he said he would paint the Indian and Pakistani national flags on both sides of his face at an Indo-Pak cricket match. Om Puri also expressed regret that while cricket was promoted by the sports ministries of both the countries, hockey and football have suffered from negligence in India and Pakistan.

Asked about his favourite Pakistani films and personalities, the Indian actor told The News that he was a fan of Pakistani film `Bol’ directed by Shoaib Mansoor and would love to act in his films in the future. “Bol left a powerful impact on me, it’s unapologetically outspoken in its commentary on society and its ills. This brand of hard-hitting films is to be lauded,” Om Puri said.

The veteran actor is also a fan of the late Pakistani comedian Moin Akhtar, stand-up comedian Umar Sharif and the 1985 PTV serial ‘Tanhaiyaan’.

His play ‘Teri Amrita’, which began its run at Alhamra Arts Council, Hall 1, on Wednesday, 12th Mar 2014, received a standing ovation on opening night.

It is a Punjabi adaptation of AG Gurney’s Pulitzer winning English play ‘Love Letters’. Om Puri said, “Although the language used is different, ‘Teri Amrita’ is a direct translation of the English play and the humour will be largely unaltered from the original. The poetry recited in the play is same as the one recited in Gurney’s play,” he added.

The actor, who is staying at a local hotel in Lahore for a week, hopes to visit the city in future as well, bringing with him more Indian talent to the city.

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