PM Narendra Modi and stars discuss Gandhi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday met a group of Bollywood actors and filmmakers, including Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan, to discuss initiatives to mark the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
During the interaction at his official residence here, the Prime Minister said that plans were under way to host an international entertainment summit in India.
Modi told the guests that with India approaching 75 years of Independence in 2022, the entertainment industry should showcase inspiring tales of the freedom struggle and the nation’s growth story, the Prime Minister’s Office said.
Referring to Gandhi, Modi said: “Several people from the world of films and television have been doing great work when it comes to popularising the ideals of the Mahatma.”
He released four videos on the theme “Gandhi at 150”.
Recalling his interaction with the Chinese President at Mahabalipuram recently, he said Xi Jinping had highlighted the popularity of Indian films, such as Dangal, in China. Modi also mentioned the popularity of the Ramayan in Southeast Asia.
He exhorted the film fraternity to utilise their soft power to promote tourism to India.
Among those present were actresses Sonam Kapoor Ahuja and Kangana Ranaut, directors Rajkumar Hirani, Rajkumar Santoshi, Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari and Nitesh Tiwari, and producers Ekta Kapoor, Boney Kapoor and Jayantilal Gada.
Modi told the gathering they did great work but were perhaps unaware of its global influence.
“Your work has reached all corners of the world. On the part of the government, I’m happy to help in any way to ensure maximum impact for your creative initiatives,” he said. He appealed to those present to visit the Dandi museum and the Statue of Unity in Gujarat.
Modi said tourist arrivals at Mahabalipuram had witnessed a jump since his informal summit with the Chinese President.
According to the PMO, Aamir told the meeting: “As creative people, there is much we can do. And I assure the PM that we will do even more.”
Shah Rukh said he felt there was a need to reintroduce Gandhi to India and the world.
Director Aanand L. Rai said: “We are accustomed to being known as representatives of the world of entertainment. But you have also added a spirit of responsibility to this by involving us in popularising the ideals of Gandhiji.”
Members of the cast of the TV serial Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah — Dilip Joshi, Shailesh Lodha, Gurucharan Singh and Shyam Pathak — and producer Asit Modi attended the session.