Bollywood stars to form human chain against terrorism

July 7th, 2008 - 10:40 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Amitabh Bachchan

Mumbai, July 7 (IANS) Several Bollywood stars, including Amitabh Bachchan and Aamir Khan, have become part of a unique initiative where celebrities and over 2,000 volunteers are set to form a human chain Aug 15 to raise their voice against terrorism. Apart from Amitabh and Aamir, siblings Saif Ali Khan and Soha Ali Khan too have committed their support to a signature campaign on “Harmony vs Terrorism” that was launched here Monday under the aegis of the Citizen’s Council for a Better Tomorrow (CCBT).

The five-kilometre human chain on India’s Independence Day will start from the city’s central business district of Nariman Point and go on to Chowpatty Beach in south Mumbai.

The celebrities and volunteers would hold up banners of “Mumbai Meri Jaan” after the title of forthcoming film “Yeh Hai Mumbai Meri Jaan”. The movie, due for release August-end, is based on the terror attacks on Mumbai’s suburban trains in 2006 that claimed 187 lives.

Soha, who plays the female lead in the film, launched the signature campaign and said: “I am first an entertainer. But when Nishikant Kamath (director of ‘Yeh Hai Mumbai Meri Jaan’) offered me the role, I accepted it out of a sense of social responsibility. The government alone can’t fight terrorism. It needs people’s support.”

Ronnie Screwvala, chairman of UTV that has produced the film, said he saw a synergy in the messages promoted by CCBT and “Yeh Hai Mumbai Meri Jaan”.

“The message of harmony spread by CCBT is commendable and therefore we decided to come together for this cause,” he said.

Former Mumbai sheriff and founder-president of CCBT F.T. Khorakiwala, former police commissioner M.N. Singh and director Nishikant Kamath were also present at the launch function.

“The campaign stemmed from my vision of seeing the people of my country living peacefully and in total communal harmony. I hope the people of Mumbai in particular and India in general will support this campaign,” Khorakiwala said.

CCBT was formed at the initiative of Khorakiwala soon after the 1993 Mumbai blasts following the demolition of the Babri Masjid.

The NGO has had the support of eminent Mumbai residents like industrialist Keshub Mahindra, advertising guru Alyque Padamsee, actress Shabana Azmi and realty developer Ashok Ajmera.

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