Pakistani Artist Should Work in India or Not By Indian Artist Reaction, Art, declared political and artistic voices recently amidst the din over banning Pakistani artists from Indian films, should be above politics. But nothing could be more impossible for art is dipped deeply in politics. Every stroke of a brush, every word from a pen, how a girl says yes or no in a film, is tangibly touched by the politics of its time. Colonial politics fuelled Bankim Chandra and Rabindranath Tagore’s art, daring to imagine a land where Indians could hold their head high. The politics of independent India, its black market, its poverty, its passion for dignity, informed the ‘‘angry young man” embodied by Amitabh Bachchan in the 1970s. And since liberalisation, global to local politics shape Indian art, from Karan Johar’s shiny movies to gritty outpourings like Dalit rap. To imagine art is above politics isn’t imagining art — it’s imagining a plastic product, bereft of the passions, the ideas, the violence and dreams of our times.