Irrfan on his Pakistani co-star missing from promotions of Hindi Medium following continuing ban on artistes from across the border
Sonil Dedhia (MID-DAY; April 11, 2017)

The ban on Pakistani artistes in India in the aftermath of the Uri attacks prompted industry folk to explore alternate methods of filming with actors from across the border.

While Shah Rukh Khan flew out to Dubai to complete Raees with Pak actress Mahira Khan, Irrfan had to shoot bits of his upcoming project, Hindi Medium, in Georgia with Pakistani star, Saba Qamar. Even as cultural ties between the two countries appear to be limping back to normalcy, the ban has prevented Saba from arriving in the country to promote the Dinesh Vijan film.

Lamenting Saba’s inability to be available for he publicity campaign here, Irrfan says, “It is really unfortunate that we won’t have Saba with us, but I guess the media is intelligent and they are aware of the situation.”

Pointing out that a major chunk of the film was shot before the attacks took place in September 2016, Dinesh says the development is something the team hadn’t anticipated. “We shot the film in July 2016, but things became worse later. It’s not in our hand. But we have Irrfan [for the promotions]. He will be the hero and heroine, and will promote our film,” he chuckles.

Hindi Medium deals with the turmoil that the country’s Hindi-speaking parents encounter as they attempt to admit their children in English-medium schools. Asserting that education has become a business in the country, Irrfan says, “Education should help evolve children’s talent and improve their personality. But unfortunately, our schooling pattern only focuses on how it will help a kid find a job.”