In its long-running battle with neighboring Pakistan, India's in danger once again of shooting itself in the foot.

Over the weekend, the Indian government waded into a cultural war between the South Asian rivals. The chief minister of Maharashtra state, a member of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, brokered a deal to allow a Bollywood film that features a Pakistani actor to premiere as scheduled on Friday.

The intervention followed weeks of swelling tensions, as thuggish hyper-nationalists castigated Bollywood's elite for not displaying sufficient patriotism after Pakistan-backed militants killed 19 Indian soldiers in Kashmir last month. First, India's motion-picture producers' association blocked Pakistani actors and technicians — as security threats, or at least as not sufficiently critical of their government — from working on Bollywood sets. Theater owners in four Indian states including Maharashtra refused to show movies that employed Pakistani actors or crew.