‘We are going to be taken seriously by the government.’
On Thursday morning, Bollywood’s young A-listers of actors and film-makers flew to Delhi to meet Prime Minister Narendra Damodardas Modi.
The delegation included Ranbir Kapoor, Ranveer Singh, Varun Dhawan, Alia Bhatt, Sidharth Malhotra, Vicky Kaushal, Ayushmann Khurrana, Bhumi Pednekar, Rajkummar Rao, Ekta Kapoor, Karan Johar, Mahaveer Jain, Ashwini Iyer Tiwari and Rohit Shetty.
While other members of this stellar group intriguingly refused to divulge details on what exactly was discussed behind closed doors, Mahaveer Jain was more forthcoming.
The mood, Subhash K Jha was told, was buoyant and the delegates could not stop singing praises of Modi.
Jain, who initiated the meeting, reveals, “Getting the new breed of prominent actors and film-makers to meet Modisaab was an idea initiated by Karan Johar and me. It took me no time to convince the delegation to pay this historic flying visit to Delhi. It took me about 20 days to get an appointment with the PM.”
Jain says the effort was worth it.
“This meeting is just the beginning for our film industry to get more proactive in the process of nation-building,” Jain adds.
“The PM graciously told the delegation how much of a change and progress they can bring to the nation. We wanted the prime minister to meet the younger generation of Bollywood stars. The prime minister made us feel comfortable and welcome.”
“He had a brief exchange with each of us, with an accompanying smile. He wanted us, the entertainment industry, to be a part of the process of the nation’s growth and development. It was very satisfying ‘get-to-know-you’ meeting and it went off wonderfully.”
Was it a fulfilling meeting?
“Very, very fulfilling,” he answers. “Varun, Ayushmann, Ranbir and Alia, all of them, felt very comfortable in Modisaab‘s company.”
“Believe me, our entertainment industry has a tremendous amount to give to the nation. As the PM pointed out to them, these stars are role models. They have the power to influence the youth.”
“I am surprised this meeting did not happen earlier, but now, the process has started. We will be interacting extensively with the government and there is no stopping us. We (the film industry) are going to be taken seriously by the government.”
The Bollywood team returned to Mumbai on a private jet and Karan Johar documented the journey in this video.