The letter was sent to the PM after some foreigners were arrested from a film set recently by the local police. Gangeshwarlal Srivastav, Dispute Chairman of FWICE, “There are a lot of foreigners who visit India as tourists and those who have work permits get employed on film sets often on the producers demand, as they are required for a film song or some scenes. Co-ordinators and suppliers tend to organise their availability for the film.”
Srivastava alleges several political parties have started to extort money from the producers and also the co-ordinators and often even after their palms are greased, they continue to trouble the producers and keep threatening them with an FIR.
He does confess that foreigners who are on tourist visa should not be employed but argues in the letter that how fair is it for the so-called political parties to gate crash film sets and extort money. Srivastava requested in the letter that strict action should be taken against those who carry out extortion rackets in the name of political parites.
A foreign artiste co-ordinator revealed to ETimes that a lot of foreign tourists end up working in films for a few days to earn a quick buck. Young travellers who only have a tourist visa, find this quick income to be an ideal supplement to their expenses in the country.
BN Tiwari, President of FWICE agrees with Srivastava and says, “Our members are forced by the producers to cast foreigners in films, sometimes without work permits. But the recent arrest of foreigners is an eye opener and co-ordinators should not push to employ foreigners, even on work permit. Also those who are coming to extort money are using the name of the political parties. One does not even know if the higher ups in the parties are aware of these activities being done under their name.”