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Mumbai blasts 'dastardly act': Shah Rukh Khan

Source: PTI
July 17, 2006 12:57 IST
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Bollywood director Karan Johar and superstar Shah Rukh Khan have condemned Tuesday's terrorist attacks on Mumbai.

At a joint news conference on the sidelines of a three-day long Bollywood extravaganza that concluded at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts in central London on Sunday, Shah Rukh described the attacks as a "dastardly act."

Terrorism has become an international phenomenon, Shah Rukh pointed out: "It happened in New York, Madrid, London and now in Mumbai. It is a very sad situation. It is necessary to educate people, to take away the thoughts of violence from society."

Johar said attacks in Mumbai were a clear case of terrorism and people should face the challenges united.

Both Karan Johar and Yash Chopra noted that Bollywood was completely secular.

To a question on the non-resident Indians' importance for the industry, SRK said NRIs have been responsible in helping Bollywood make a breakthrough in the West.

Asked whether they would consider reducing the duration of Hindi films, Yash Chopra and Johar felt it would be difficult; Shah Rukh said it was worth considering.

Yash Chopra said it was not the length that mattered but the intensity of the film. "Music is part of Indian life and culture. We are not ashamed of our music," Chopra said.

"It was quite an awakening when Veer-Zaara was screened in Paris. When we went there, the entire area was jam-packed and we could not even enter the theatre where the film was being screened," the veteran filmmaker said.

Asked whether they produced films keeping the NRIs in view, Johar said: "We produce films which are emotional and attractive to Indians. Being an NRI is a status. They are Indians, whether they live in New York or Bihar. NRIs are more Indians in their heart than most of us."

Shah Rukh said, "Our films not only entertain, but they are for eternity. It is the only mode of entertainment for masses and length of the film is value for money."

Called BAFTA Goes Bollywood, the London programme included presentation and interactive sessions with Johar, SRK, Chopra, Aamir Khan and Preity Zinta.

A new book on Bollywood, called Lights, Camera, Masala -- Making Movies in Mumbai by Sheena Sippy was also showcased on the occasion

The 246-page book -- by daughter of producer Ramesh Sippy with text from scriptwriter Naman Ramachandran -- gives an insider's look at the glitz, grit and grandeur of the world's largest film industry.

Ramachandran called the book a celebration of contemporary Hindi cinema. The book documents the process of making a typical commercial Hindi film through the adventures of a pair of fictitious characters called Vijay and Ravi, who try to make a Bollywood film of their own.

Famous film personalities -- from seasoned scriptwriters like the Salim-Javed duo to megastars like Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan and Aishwarya Rai and successful directors like Ramesh Sippy and Johar -- have shared their experiences and provided insights into filmmaking.

Lights Camera Masala also records the stories of the behind-the-scenes people who are such an intrinsic part of the Bollywood machinery -- a light boy, a make-up artist and a choreographer, among others.

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