Kolkata: Amid the controversy over rising intolerance in India and the deadly Paris terror attacks, megastar Amitabh Bachchan on Saturday called for better communication and stressed the power of cinema to showcase plurality and banishment of communal prejudices.
After SRK, the megastar has joined the tolerance debate emphasising that “We need to recall lesson of cultural diversity.”
He reiterated on the fact that “Tolerance of our diversity in a fabric that is essentially a complex mosaic of various ethnic communities, classes and sects.”
Sharing snippets of information on the contribution of West Bengal to Indian cinema, Big B emphasised on the role of cinema as being the “most pervasive medium of communication in entertainment”.
While recalling the contribution of Indian cinema in fostering social unity, communal amity and love, he said, “Films remain the most pervasive form of communication in entertainment in the contemporary world and now more than ever we need to talk to each other, to listen to each other and understand ourselves in relation to the world and cinema is the best medium for doing this,” Bachchan said at the inaugural of the 21st Kolkata International Film Festival here.
He also claimed that it is essential to recall the lessons of “Equality” and “Cultural Diversity” taught by Rabindranath Tagore “at a time when cultures are being questioned and prejudices against communities are diving the world.”
Bachchan reiterated on “plurality” and “diversity” throughout his speech and offered a comprehensive history of Indian cinema right from the age of silent films to present day ventures such as “Piku”.
“These early films used entertainment as a language to speak to the audience across national, class, economic and racial lines and helped immensely in highlighting shared cultural values and idealistic aspirations and understanding of good and evil.
Talking about legendary filmmakers such as Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Guru Dutt and Shakti Samanta, who had connections with Bengal, Bachchan said Bengal’s strength has always been its “intellectual integrity and immense open-mindedness” as well as “deep belief in equality and social justice”.
(With Inputs from IANS)