The Information and Broadcasting Ministry has sent out special invites to Hindi film A-listers for a star-studded event that marks the second anniversary of Modi’s government. The guest list is headlined by Aamir Khan, Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan.
A crowd of over 60,000 people is expected to gather at India Gate in New Delhi May 26 for the mega-event to witness an eight-hour show, titled “Zara Muskura Do.” It will also feature a series of short films highlighting the Modi government’s achievements. Unlike last year’s celebration, “Saal Ek, Shuruaat Anek,” this year’s show is a national event.
The government has formed a panel of ministers, headed by Urban Development Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu. Union Ministers Nitin Gadkari and Piyush Goyal, and I&B Minister of State Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore are in charge of the function.
According to official sources, Amitabh Bachchan will open the ceremony, which will be telecast live and will feature representatives and celebrity ambassadors of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Digital India and Rural Electrification programs. The guest list includes A.R. Rahman, Ajay Devgn, Riteish Deshmukh, Rajkumar Hirani and Saina Nehwal, among others.
Of course, while Salman Khan has always been a Modi supporter and was present when the government took oath, Aamir Khan was a proponent of Modi’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan before his unfortunate remark some months ago. Shah Rukh Khan also fell into the same trap, but we guess that wisdom, or at least political and strategic diplomacy, are important even for superstars who have ruled the industry for 25-plus years.
After all, no country can boast of superstars who continue to rule so long, though they do not belong to the majority community. Of course, each of the Khans has a Hindu connect — Salman Khan’s mother is a Hindu, Aamir Khan has been married to Reena Dutta first and Kiran Rao now, and Shah Rukh Khan’s wife Gauri too is a Hindu.