Using Bollywood to foster diplomatic ties


They say that Indians have two Gods: Cricket and Bollywood! It seems to me that foreign diplomats are figuring that out. The German Ambassador and his wife sung a medley recently with the former Foreign minister of India from a very successful Bollywood movie Kal Ho Na Ho showcasing the diplomatic star cast from India and Germany as a tribute to Bollywood movies!

I wonder if Bollywood producers and directors are aware that their movies have impact in these far corners of the world? Modern-day diplomacy is about finding novel ways and experimenting with things. If traditional diplomacy was more comfortable with government-to-government relations, I see people-to-people contact as the new trend with modern-day diplomats who are also people-savvy, social-media savvy and comfortable with the idea of experimentation. Bollywood is a way to reach out with a message in a country full of Bollywood fans!

Maybe it is one reason Michael Steiner, German Ambassador to India, and Salman Khurshid, former Foreign Minister of India, decided to take it in the stride and experiment with re-enacting the popular Bollywood triangle movie – Kal Ho Na Ho. Together with Eliese Steiner and under the direction of Sumit Osmand Shaw.

On the line of Bollywood re-enacts for diplomatic relations, how about Dostana for India-Pakistan ties, Padosan for India-Nepal relations and New York for US-India? In times when trade, boundaries and people-to-people exchange is gaining momentum, it would be good to see Bollywood re-enacts to foster new friendship on common likings.

I wonder what movie will it be for Indo-China relations? Which one do you suggest and why?

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