WikiLeaks: US Sought Bollywood Aid Against Extremism

Prasun Sonwalkar/London
WikiLeaks: US Sought Bollywood Aid Against Extremism
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+0553
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".
READ MORE IN:

Post a Comment


You are not logged in, To comment please / Register
or use
Next Story : HC Seeks Reply on Cancellation of BSP Election Symbol
Download the Outlook ​Magazines App. Six magazines, wherever you go! Play Store and App Store
THE LATEST ISSUE
CLICK IMAGE FOR CONTENTS


Advertisement

OUTLOOK TOPICS :

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

or just type initial letters