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Neerja, the biopic, an inspiring story for youth: Neerja’s Brother

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New Delhi: Recently released biopic, Neerja, starring Sonam Kapoor depicts the story of a fearless young woman with a promising modelling and flying career who lost her life while saving the passengers from the armed terrorists, is turning out to be an inspiration to the youth who were unaware of the happenings, said her brother.

“I have been flooded with phone calls, messages and Facebook posts from across the country and all over the world ever since ‘Neerja’ released. It is quite overwhelming. The film has been really well made and Neerja’s portrayal does full justice to her act of courage,” said Aneesh Bhanot, brother of the Pan-Am senior flight purser.

Neerja’s brothers, Akhil and Aneesh, have received praise from across the globe applauding her courageous act during the hijack.

“People who have seen the film in the United States, Australia and other countries are either calling up or sending messages about her act of courage and how so many of them have been moved after watching the movie. Many survivors of the hijacking have also been in touch,” Aneesh said.

In the United States, people who have gone to see the film have installed electric candles inside movie theatres, Aneesh pointed out.

House No. 3727 in Chandigarh’s Sector 46, the residence of Neerja’s brothers, is aptly named ‘Neerja Niwas’. They have proudly put a plaque outside the gate mentioning the Ashok Chakra, India’s highest peacetime gallantry award for bravery, given to Neerja Bhanot in 1987.

Braveheart Neerja Bhanot who gave up her life two days before she would have turned 23, was the first women to receive Ashok Chakra.

She saved a large group of American children during the terrorist hijack of a Pan-Am flight at Karachi international airport in Pakistan on September 5, 1986.

“By bringing the story back to the youth, the film is doing great service to the community. Many youths didn’t even know her (Neerja) story. The film tells them that there is nothing to fear, even as a woman, from terrorists or anyone,” Aneesh said.

Aneesh, the younger brother, wished to watch the movie all by himself and quietly booked the tickets for the first show.

“I wanted to go and see this alone. I thought that (director Ram Madhvani) and his team have really done a very good job,” said Aneesh, who was in tears during the film.

His family members also went to see the show very first day. The film, released on Feb 19, left the Bhanot family with the memories of the Events of September 5-7, 1986.

Neerja, 23-year-old young women, was the senior flight purser of Pan-Am 73 (Bombay-Karachi-Frankfurt-New York) who got killed in the shootout following the hijack. Palestinian terrorists from the Abu Nidal group had entered the aircraft posing as Pakistani police personnel, carrying arms and hand grenades. 20 people dead and 150 injured after a bloodbath at the airport. There were around 200 Indian passengers on the flight, out of which 13 died while over 100 were injured.(IANS) (Image Courtesy: desimartini.com)

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Cinema Has the Power to Bring Social Change: Vikrant Massey

Cinema is instrumental in shaping society, says bollywood actor Vikrant Massey

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Vikrant Massey
Vikrant Massey says with every new project he tries to be a part of important stories. Wikimedia Commons

With four films in the pipeline, and his latest film “Chhapaak” having released on Friday, actor Vikrant Massey says with every new project he tries to be a part of important stories because cinema has the power to bring social change.

Although no film glorifies crime — particularly crime against women — we have seen a rise in such misdemeanours lately. The question arises if cinema impacts the minds of the audience, why has it failed to change the mindset of the youth who commit such crime?

“Cinema has always been instrumental in shaping society, not just in India but all over the world. Even in the West, cinema played a huge part in ushering revolution and initiating conversations among people. When I say revolution, I am not saying that after watching films people will take to the streets and start chanting slogans. The very idea of taking up a topic can lead to a revolution, and cinema has the power to do so,” Vikrant told IANS.

Vikrant Massey
“When it comes to crime, it is happening because individuals are committing crime, so the change has to start from within,” says Vikrant Massey. Wikimedia Commons

“Having said that, I know that the crime rate is high and I do not have a solution as an actor. I do think people these days are ridden with angst. For example, when I drive I just see a certain rage on the roads — people honk even if they see the signal. People don’t think twice before using abusive word,” added the actor.

Vikrant’s latest film is based on the life of acid attack victim, Laxmi Agarwal. The film highlights acid violence.

“When it comes to crime, it is happening because individuals are committing crime, so the change has to start from within,” he pointed out.

Starting his career on TV with the show “Kahaan Hoon Main” in 2004, Vikrant worked on the small screen until 2014 in “Ajab Gajab Ghar Jamai”. He then shifted gear to Bollywood.

Also Read- Mardaani 2 a Risky Movie to Make;, Says Rani Mukerji

“I left television consciously after 10 years because I wanted to give myself a chance to step into the world of cinema. I want every role of mine in films to be different. I have given myself 10 years in cinema to achieve more than what I did in TV. It has been six years in Bollywood and I have four more years to go,” shared Vikrant.

Vikrant’s new crop of films include “Ramprasad Ki Tehrvi”, “Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare”, “Cargo”, “Ginny Weds Sunny” and “Haseen Dilruba”. (IANS)