Big B, Ash all set to woo Britain

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Author : Sajeda Momin Date : 9/25/2007
letter from london...

After receiving rave reviews for his first English film The Last Lear in Toronto, Amitabh Bachchan is ready to woo the London Film Festival here next month. To be screened at the Odeon West End, the Big B must be praying for success in the home of Shakespeare.

Bachchan is obviously a known face in London among NRIs and British Asians, but this will be his first opportunity to wow hardcore international critics who flock here every Autumn for the prestigious festival. The Last Lear will lead the Indian entries to the festival in October and will go out on a general release in December.Not to be outdone by the Big B, new daughter-in-law Ashwariya Rai also has film being released in London next month with a similar sounding name. Though this is not her first English language film, Rai has been nursing hopes of getting her first Hollywood box office hit with The Last Legion.

All her previous attempts have bombed at the box office. But pirate kings have put paid to her wishes. Pirated versions of the big-budget Roman epic in which Ash plays a warrior princess who grabs the eye of British heartthrob Colin Firth are already out on the streets. They can be picked up in Soho for as little as £3 — much less than the price of a cinema ticket.

The co-author of the book Circle of Light, which was recently made into the Ashwariya Rai starrer Provoked, has just launched another book on an equally controversial subject — modern day slavery. Rahila Gupta, writer and activist looks into those corners of modern Britain that we know exist but often choose to ignore in her book Enslaved. “Many people in the UK are starved, imprisoned, beaten, sexually violated, and made to work without pay even today,” said Gupta. An NGO has estimated that there may be as many as 25,000 people in the UK today who are enslaved.

During the launch of the centenary celebrations of Shaheed Bhagat Singh at the Nehru Centre on Saturday a demand was made that Britain recognises him as a freedom fighter as he is seen in India. “Bhagat Singh and his colleagues, Sukhdev and Rajguru were tried, convicted and hanged by the British authorities. Sixty years after the end of British rule and seventy five after his execution, it is important that Bhagat Singh and his colleagues are recognised as a freedom fighters in Britain,” said Atma Singh, President of the National Council of Asian Affairs.

Events are being organised for 28 September — Bhagat Singh’s birthday all across the UK and celebrations will continue until 23 March 2008 the anniversary of his martyrdom.

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