Indian polls take backseat to Bollywood in South Africa

May 17th, 2009 - 2:36 pm ICT by IANS  

Bipasha Basu By Fakir Hassen
Johannesburg, May 17 (IANS) Indian politics took a backseat to Bollywood in the biggest South African weekly, the Sunday Times, with photographs of film stars participating in the Indian Premier League (IPL) gala finale hogging page three, while the Congress party win at the general elections got only two short columns on page 15.

Despite having a weekly supplement called ‘Extra’ for South African Indian readers, which features Bollywood news as well, the Sunday Times prominently used pictures of Bipasha Basu, Kareena Kapoor, Rani Mukherjee and Akshay Kumar in an article highlighting the Bollywood extravaganza that will follow the final of the IPL at the Wanderers Stadium here next Sunday.

Celebrated choreographer Shiamak Davar will coordinate the Bollywood extravaganza, in which 750 people will be involved.

“A closing ceremony should always leave a lump in one’s throat,” the weekly quoted Etienne de Villiers, the South African born advisor to IPL commissioner Lalit Modi.

“It’s going to be an acknowledgement of the role that South Africa has played in the success of the IPL.”

The IPL games, featuring eight teams, were played at several South African cities to packed stadiums. It was moved here because of security concerns during parliamentary elections in India.

The closing ceremony will also feature 2,000 floating lanterns released into the sky as fans rock to the music of reggae star Eddie Grant; Indian and South African drummers; and the latest South African Idols winners, Jason Hartman and Sasha-Lee Davids.

Following an SMS voting bungle, the two Idols winners are the first ever joint winners of an Idols contest that takes place in many countries across the globe to find a local singing star.

Davids was first announced the winner. But after it was discovered that almost 200,000 viewers’ votes had not come through in time, Hartman was declared a joint winner.

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