04/10/2016 10:32 AM IST | Updated 04/10/2016 12:59 PM IST

We Didn't Force The Soldiers To Join The Army, Says Om Puri

A lot of people took to Twitter to express displeasure at his comment.

Mark Blinch / Reuters

On Monday, during a live TV debate, senior Bollywood actor Om Puri made a comment that has infuriated a lot of people. Defending Pakistani artistes who have been banned by Indian producers from acting in Indian films until hostilities between the two nations are resolved, Puri made a clear case of why art and war shouldn't be mixed.

During the debate, referring to the soldiers, he said, "We didn't force the soldiers to join the army." "Prepare 15-20 people as suicide bombers and send them to Pakistan," the actor further added.

His comments came in the backdrop of escalating tensions between the two countries that led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) led by Raj Thackeray to issue a 48-hour ultimatum to Pakistani artistes to leave the country.

The ban on Pakistani artistes have split Bollywood down the middle. While several Indian artistes, such as Mahesh Bhatt, have spoken in favour of using art to build bridges, many others, including Nana Patekar, have supported the ban.

Read more: Actors Are Like Bed Bugs Before The Country, We Have No Worth, Says Nana Patekar

Puri said Pakistani artistes are not working illegally here and if they are sent back, Indian producers, who have signed them for their films, will suffer heavy losses.

"When the government is taking an action, we all should stay quiet. It hardly matters if we send back the artists from Pakistan, who are working here, or let them stay. I have been to Pakistan six times and have met people from all strata," he told News 18.

His opinion on TV debate wasn't well received on the social media and he started trending on Twitter.

Although he did have voices in his favour too.

Puri recently shot his first Pakistani film 'Actor In Law', directed by Nabeel Qureshi and produced by Fizza Ali Meerza, a fact that was brought up by several of his critiques on Twitter.

Watch the debate here:

Also see on HuffPost:

Photo gallery 2006 Mumbai Serial Blasts See Gallery