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Monday, December 8, 2008

Saif Ali Khan on Mumbai attacks


Taking a hint from little sister Soha Ali Khan, actor Saif Ali Khan has also penned his thoughts about the barbaric Mumbai attacks for a leading newspaper.Saif writes, Mumbaikars are resilient! The spirit of Mumbai back on its feet… I am sick and tired of hearing about the spirit of the resilient Mumbaikar. What choice do we have? I really hope we don’t forget this.The government has failed us again. Politicians are advertising for your votes while the bodies of the dead are not yet cremated. Mr Modi has offered a crore to Hemant Karkare’s widow. Everyone, as usual, is gaining his own mileage from a deplorable situation. The Taj in flames… 60 people shot dead at the CST. 9/11 was not so close to us. Terror has come home. Who will protect us from this happening again? Is getting shot in the coffee shop of a 5-star hotel or getting killed in an explosion another legitimate way to die? Like getting run over or dying of some disease? In our parents’ time, Beirut was called the Paris of the East — will Mumbai succumb to a similar fate?I think there’s no voice of liberal Islam anywhere to be heard today, which is why I choose to express my anguish at what’s taking place around us today. We have either the fundamentalist forces or someone blowing up the place. As an Indian and a Muslim, I feel like expressing my condemnation and outright disgust at any party killing innocent people in the name of God, Allah or whatever we choose to call him. I am so worried that the whole religion will be judged and condemned. There are strong communal feelings running through all stratas of our society and I find it hard to defend the fact that there seems to be a Muslim hand behind every detonator. Indians must unite as Indians and not split under any circumstances on any line.I too want revenge for what has happened. I know the whole city is baying for Pakistani blood. We want to bring back draconian laws like POTA. While I might agree with this I feel we should all remember that 500,000 Indians are in jail under this law without a trial. Is it humane to go in this direction without fully understanding the situation? We should get our facts right. Yes, if Pakistan is to blame then we should go to war against them. But till we know what the truth is, we should stop having these knee-jerk reactions like going to war or not paying taxes. If we don’t pay taxes, who will support our brave soldiers who battle such attacks and go to war?I feel a little scared as a Muslim. I want to urge us to fight the right enemy. This is beyond religion. It’s not about India vs. Pakistan. I do feel that to fight Pakistan or to go to war is to play into the hands of the terrorists. This is what they want. We need to unite as a region against this common enemy. Pakistan is fighting the Al-Qaeda on the Afghanistan border. The US has pledged support.The Marriott hotel was destroyed and Mrs Bhutto was killed — we have the same enemy.
I applaud Condoleezza Rice for flying to India and saying that non-state actors sometimes act in the confines of a state and there has to be strong action against them and it is still a matter of Islamabad’s responsibility and Pakistan has to act against them.I would like to thank the NSG and the Mumbai police who handled the situation so well with so little on their side in terms of equipment and support.Some of our government agencies like RAW have failed us yet again. Since 1970, there has been more politicising of these agencies leading to their inefficiency.Let’s get it right this time and vote for the government that we believe in and then stand by them.Let us unite on this issue as Indians.Shooting cold wintry nights in Philadelphia, in the USA and already miserable with the weather and the hours — and making a film on terrorism of all things. Both Kareena and I were exposed to the news that has shaken the foundations of our city and destroyed our already shaky belief in our government’s ability to protect us. We feel so terribly sad and depressed for our city… Our thoughts and prayers are with you, Mumbai…Saif Ali Khan Pataudi

Well what do you folks feel about Saif’s views?

Arjun Rampal is quite happy


Arjun Rampal is on a high these days inspite the debacle of his latest release EMI ‘coz he hit the jackpot this year with Rock On and then gave a hardcore performance in The Last Lear.Arjun says,  “I hope this is not the peak of my career and I go further ahead. I have taken a lot of time to learn. I am thankful to all the people to have given me the opportunity to work many times.”Arjun thanks many people around him who have helped him climb the ladder of success, “I am also thankful to people like Shah Rukh Khan, Amitabh Bachchan and Farah Khan who have understood me as an actor. I am indebted to my family and the many people who have supported me in this industry. I could not have done this alone.”“It has been a fantastic year for me both personally and professionally. Professionally because I got to do a lot of good films this year and personally because my family was happy as my films worked and also see my children growing and my wife is also very happy. God has been very kind to me.”Well we hope that God continues to shower his kindness on you Arjun.

Big B & Tabu to team up yet again

The chemistry of Big B and Tabu received rave reviews in ‘Cheeni Kum’. Now, this legendry actor and the talented actress are teaming up yet again for the period film “The Legend Of Kunal” where Big B will be playing emperor Ashoka and Tabu will play his wife Tishyarakshitra. Incidentally, this will be Tabu’s next venture after ‘Cheeni Kum’.The film will be directed by Chandraprakash Dwivedi (who made ‘Pinjar’) and produced by Amitabh’s company AB Corp Ltd.“Tabu had not a moment’s hesitation in saying yes to the role of emperor Ashoka’s powerful wife Tishyarakshitra, so powerful she swayed the entire Mauryan empire with her politics and aura. We needed an actress with the strength of conviction,” said Dwivedi.“History and its cinematic treatment demand the characters to be true to their antecedents. And emperor Ashoka, who is caught in his twilight years in my film, had to be played by Bachchan saab. Only he possesses the gravity, sobriety and personality along with being the age required.I wouldn’t make Ashoka without him. As for Tabu, she plays his young, fiery, assertive wife. She’s an actress I’ve wanted to work with for a very long time. Again, only she could play Tishyarakshitra,” Diwedi added.In addition, the film will star Arjun Rampal as emperor Ashoka’s son Kunal. Amrita Rao will play his wife Kanchanmala.“Again, I cast them because of their suitability rather than saleability,” Dwivedi said.“In fact, Amrita was recommended by Jaya Bachchan. Tabu and Amrita have many dramatic confrontation scenes together. I needed an actress who could hold her own against someone as powerful as Tabu. Amrita is delicate but strong,” he added.

amitabh bachchan and tabu

John’s very angry after Mumbai attacks

John Abraham (3).jpg

John Abraham was recently seen inaugurating food and wine show my magazine Upper Crust and represented the never-say-die Mumbai spirit who bounced back after the attacks.However John is quite angry, “I’ve been born and brought up in Mumbai. I may be smiling and laughing now, but I’m so angry that I can beat up someone,” says John.Although the media is being criticized by many for minute by minute coverage of the attacks which helped the terrorist and informed them about every external move, John is quite happy with them.He says, “This is the first time I’m saying this — the media has done a fabulous job. You guys were very good.”Do you guys think that media did the right thing by showing the minute-by-minute coverage of the attacks which ultimately helped the terrorists?

Shahruk Khan's Family Photos

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