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Amitabh BachchanI am proud to be an Indian: Amitabh Bachchan
18th Aug 2007  23.00 IST
By Agencies  


Asserting that India has made impressive progress since independence, Bollywood mega superstar Amitabh Bachchan has sharply criticised those who take a cynical view of the accomplishments of the nation.

"There is nothing to be cynical and critical of our accomplishments," Bachchan told a press conference New York Friday evening, reminding a questioner that 60 years is a very short period in the life of a nation.




For a long time, India had been suppressed by foreign rulers and now that it is independent, it has to put its progress on the fast track to catch up with the rest of the world and that creates difficulties sometimes, Bachchan emphasised.

The countries, which are now developed, made step-by-step progress since the industrial revolution from which India did not benefit and now to catch up, the country has to take quantum leaps, Bachchan said.

But when one takes quantum leaps, some vacuum is left and that creates some difficulties, Bachchan stressed, adding that India has to take action on two tracks - leap frog development and deal with the vacuum created.

Bachchan said he is confident that the country has the acumen and desire to overcome these difficulties. That is clear from the fact that India has progressed to the extent that world is now showing interest in not only its economic progress but also its culture, heritage, food, dress and even movies.

"I am proud to be an Indian, very very proud of its accomplishments," Bachchan asserted amidst cheers.

Giving example of the importance that world attached to the progress being made by India, Bachchan recalled that during a function in London, the city Mayor had remarked that when 20 years from now, the world leaders sit down to discuss universal economics, there will be President of the US, the Prime Minister of China and the Prime Minister of India.

Bachchan is in New York to participate in the centenary celebration of his father, famous Hindi poet Harivansh Rai Bachchan, organised by the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, USA. He will render selected verses from the poems of his father at special function being got up on the occasion.

Replying to a question, Bachchan said main purpose of the movies is to entertain and in the process if they also provide education or acquaint Indians outside the country with their culture and heritage, it is something the movie industry could be proud of.

But then the organisations like Bhavan and government have to do more to ensure that generation born outside the country remains acquainted with language and the culture of the country, Bachchan said.

The movies, Bachchan said, are not made for a small audience or for people in a particular region but they need to have appeal across the country, or even abroad, for their success. However, he said that they are a great integrator as people from wide spectrum of regions see and appreciate them and that creates common bonds.

But Bachchan took strong objection when a question was put as to when Bollywood would catch up with Hollywood. He said it should rather be the other way round. The Indian cinema has its own place independent of Hollywood and is not dependent on it.

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