Muslims have always been highlighted as the enemy, says Sanam Saeed on Bollywood's stereotyping.

Bollywood's Muslim stereotype became the hot topic after clips from Neflix India's newest film Mission Majnu started circulating on social media. The age old visual markers were ticked off - a man with kohl rimmed eyes who spits adaabs in every sentence with the backdrop of Pakistan manufacturing nuclear weapons. Actor Sanam Saeed spoke to Brut India about this kind of stereotyping and Bollywood's ban on Pakistani artists, saying she doesn't get why politics needs to penetrate cultural collaboration.

The Zindagi Gulzar Hai actor shared her favourite Bollywood film - Queen - terming the relatability factor as the reason. 'It wasn't a spectacle,' she said, as the conversation shifted to the way Muslims are often captured through the Bollywood lens.

'Of course, we always make fun of how Muslims are portrayed in Indian films with the kajol [kohl], namaz ki topi [prayer cap] and the green in the background somewhere to show that this is a Muslim person or Muslim community. It gets too political, they've always been highlighted as the enemy.' She added that she doesn't recall seeing any projects where the two nations are friends and are collaborating together. She believes this is far from reality, 'where collaborations are happening at every level'.

Jumping to the time before the ban was imposed, she said it did not come as a shock to see the cross-border cultural exchange take off. 'It was exciting, it was about time. It felt very exhilarating, very liberating and kind of complete that finally these two hubs of culture, creativity and art were collaborating to...

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