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Bollywood movies behind strengthening Indo-Myanmar ties

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Yangon: It can be hard to believe but notably, Bollywood plays a significant part in strengthening the Indo-Myanmar ties. The prevalence of Hindi movies and their widespread popularity in this neighbouring country is definitely helping build stronger connection between the two countries.

In this Southeast Asian nation of more than 100 ethnic groups and home to precious stone markets and impressive Buddhist sites, Bollywood is extremely popular.

For, right from the maitre d’hotel and chefs to top corporate honchos, Hindi films appear to be a mania in this country dominated by Buddhists.

“My parents migrated to Myanmar from India after Independence and so I learned Hindi from them,” local precious stone seller Ma Khin Kyi said.

The mother of two, who never visited India, said Hindi soaps and films, which are quite popular among many Burmese, helped her master Hindi.

Indian cable and satellite television channels Zee TV and Sony Max are popular Hindi channels in Myanmar, she added.

Bollywood stars of yesteryears like Shashi Kapoor and Mithun Chakraborty and heartthrobs of youngsters; Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan rule their hearts too.

Thirty nine year old taxi driver Mohammad Shafiq, accompanying the visiting Indian journalists, started humming lyrics “Hum tere bin ab reh nahi sakte” of “Aashiqui 2”.

He said Hindi films and TV soaps were quite popular in the country.

“Most of the Hindi films with Burmese dubbing are released here simultaneously,” Shafiq, who speaks Hindi with proficiency, said.

Many youngsters, though not literate in Hindi, are so crazy about Hindi film love songs that they keep on humming the popular ones.

“India and Myanmar have a common heritage and long economic and political relations,” said entrepreneur Mak Patel, who was born and brought up in Yangon.

Octogenarian Patel, who is an Indian citizen and settled in New Delhi, said the craze for the Hindi flicks dates back to the popular song “Mere piya gaye Rangoon” from 1949 movie “Patanga”.

“Even popular satellite channels like Sky Net and MRTV-4 have devoted bigger slots for Hindi movies and serials,” Patel, a former consultant with ONGC Videsh Ltd, said.

Myanmar’s capital, Yangon, has six cinema halls that regularly screen popular Hindi movies.

Strict censorship doesn’t allow Burmese filmmakers to show social and politically driven stories forcing movie buffs to watch Bollywood and Hollywood films through pirated copies.

State-run Central Hotel executive Cheery Tun said she liked Aamir Khan-starrer “3 Idiots” and “PK” so much that she saw them several times.

Energy-rich and resource-rich Myanmar, which got its independence in 1947, is home to a 2.5 million-strong Indian diaspora settled mostly in Yangon and Mandalay.

(Vishal Gulati, IANS)

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Practice What You Preach: Celebrities Should Stand By Their Public Image In Private Domain

Industry spokesperson Ashoke Pandit sees an urgent need for celebrities to practice what they preach.

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Actress-environmentalist Dia Mirza feels an imperative need for actors to maintain an equipoise in their overall conduct. Pixabay

Practice what you preach. Priyanka Chopra forgot the validity of this adage when at her wedding in December last year in Jodhpur she was seen enjoying a fireworks display.

Suddenly her reputation went up in the sky – at least for a while. Here was an actress who has privately spoken up about noise and smoke pollution caused by fireworks, and there she was enjoying the poison that she had condemned publicly.

A co-star-pal of Ms. Chopra commented, “It was her wedding. She was just having fun, some unthinking fun. I agree she should have been more careful with what she was doing. But it’s okay. No harm done.”

Actress-producer Pooja Bhatt spoke about the need for celebrities with a voice to make sure their private conduct doesn’t contradict their public image.

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Here was an actress who has privately spoken up about noise and smoke pollution caused by fireworks, and there she was enjoying the poison that she had condemned publicly. Pixabay

“I can only speak for myself… I have always been the same person in my personal and public space. The world today, and especially most of the youngsters, are two different animals in their personal and public space. There is no room for truth in most of the lives they share with people… ironic since this is a time of social media where apparently you let people see you for what you are and intimately… yet there is zero intimacy.. just carefully manufactured illusions of reality.”

Shabana Azmi, who has constantly voiced her strong opinion on social issues, admits it is imperative that the powerful voices in our society desist from dithering.

“My father Kaifi Azmi was a rare poet who practised what he preached whether it was on women’s empowerment, communal harmony or social justice. But it’s a tough place to bein because celebrities are judged more harshly than others and people are quick to nitpick. I am very informal with close friends and can be quite a maverick but social media is so all-pervasive that what’s fine in an intimate circle becomes public almost immediately. I think one must be mindful but it can’t be stretched to impossible limits.”

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Actress Priyanka Chopra. Wikimedia Commons

Industry spokesperson Ashoke Pandit sees an urgent need for celebrities to practice what they preach.

“The celebrity should be educated enough to comment on that particular subject. Once the comment is out in the public domain, the celebrity must abide by it. He has a responsibility towards the society as people follow them. Moreover they should follow what they preach. One should be very careful when one has to comment on sensitive issues.”

Actress-environmentalist Dia Mirza feels an imperative need for actors to maintain an equipoise in their overall conduct.

 

Also Read: Technology Should Not Hamper The Child’s Normal Social Interaction And Environmental Learning

“I personally believe that if one consciously believes in a value system and has outwardly expressed this, then one would also need to consider the importance of reflecting those very values in their personal choices to the best of their ability.This should hold true for all of us. Whether or not we are in position of power.”

In short, practice what you preach. (IANS)