Leading Bollywood actors were interested in participating in a US plan to use the influential Indian film industry to promote anti-extremist messages 'through third party actors,' according to a US embassy cable released by WikiLeaks.
The cable, sent by the London embassy on October 25, 2007, reported on a visit to Britain by two US officials, Farah Pandith, senior adviser for Muslim engagement, and Jared Cohen, described as 'S/P Member'.
Pandith was in 2009 appointed by the Obama administration as the Special Representative to Muslim Communities for the US Department of State.
The two officials visited Muslim areas in Leicester and other areas of Britain, and held wide-ranging discussions, including on involving Bollywood to promote anti-extremism message.
Due to the large presence of the Indian/Asian diaspora, Britain is one of the major markets for Bollywood films and has a significant following.
According to the cable available on The Guardian website, one of the meetings the two officials had was with individuals connected with the Indian film industry.
These included Director of Arts Versa Mohsin Abbas, Channel 4 TV Head of Multicultural Programming Farouk Dhondi, Producer Director Mahmood Jamal, Locations Manager Amjad Khan, and singer/actress Humeira Akhter, "who has strong links with top Bollywood actors/actresses".
The cable says: "On October 10, Pandith and Cohen met with a cross section of the South Asian community working in films to discuss the potential of working with the Indian film industry - Bollywood - on delivering an anti-terrorism message.
"A lively discussion produced a number of possible ideas, including developing ways to promote existing anti-terrorist films, and to develop funds for similar productions".
It adds: "Once such an anti-extremist genre is established, participants believed that major Bollywood figures would be willing to speak out on the issue."
"Humaira Akhtar has already gotten back to Pandith on possible stars in Bollywood interested in such a project".
The cable summary says: "Bollywood actors and executives agreed to work with the USG to promote anti-extremist messages through third party actors and were excited about the idea of possibly partnering with Hollywood as well".
The cable provides a detailed account of the officials' visit to the east Midlands city of Leicester, which has a large minority of Indian origin people.
The cable says: "One highlight of the visit was a day trip to Leicester, which Pandith said was arguably home to the most conservative Islamic population she had seen anywhere in Europe".
WikiLeaks: US Sought Bollywood Aid Against Extremism
READ MORE IN:
THE LATEST ISSUE
- End Of A Generation? Advani, Mulayam, Sonia, Deve Gowda's Political Career Fading Out
- Narendra Modi To Take Oath As PM For Second Term On May 30
- PM Modi Says Next 5 Years Are To Regain India's Lost Position In World
- The Importance Of Modi Goes Beyond Narrow Politics: Mahesh Rangarajan
- ICC CWC 2019, IND Vs PAK: Inzamam-ul-Haq Makes Huge Statement Ahead Of Big Clash
- How Can The Opposition Pick Itself Up From This Shattering Defeat?
- My Vote Is For the Well-Being Of My Fellow Indians
- The Statue Went Bust
- Mayawati, Honourable Prime Minister. Why The Heartburn?
- Can India's Character As A Secular Republic Be Sustained?
- Yogi Deveshwar: Corporate Honcho Whose Touch Gave Wings to Air India, High Flight To ITC
- Pak PM Imran Khan Calls PM Modi, Expresses Desire To Work Together
- Rafale Deal: No Question Of FIR Or CBI Probe, Centre Tells SC
- Aide Shot Dead, Smriti Irani Reaches Amethi, Shoulders Body To Cremation
- ICC CWC 2018: There Are At Least Five Clear Favourites, Says Legendary Jonty Rhodes
- Rahul Gandhi's Snub To Veteran Congress Leaders Who Put Sons Above Party Interest
- CBI Summons Ex-Kolkata Commissioner Rajeev Kumar In Saradha Chit Fund Scam
- Photo Of Newly Elected MP And His Former Boss Cross-Saluting Each Other Goes Viral
- What BJP's Win In Jammu Means For Kashmir Valley