In a pioneering initiative to promote people-to-people relations between the UAE and India, superstars of South Indian cinema will take the lead to celebrate UAE’s National Day this year.
Mohanlal — the heartthrob of millions of people in Kerala and the South Indian diaspora in the Gulf — will lead the celebrations on December 2 near the city of Coimbatore in South Indian state of Tamil Nadu.
Mohanlal has acted in more than 300 films and is the recipient of India’s third highest civilian honour, the Padma Bhushan.
The theme of the celebrations will be ‘Big Salute to UAE: the land of happiness, opportunity and tolerance,’ said Ravindhar, another film actor, who has 150 movies to his credit, and is a film literacy promoter as well as director of film festivals.
Mohanlal and Ravindhar are chairman and chief executive officer respectively of Kochi Metro, a non-governmental organisation comprising Indian film fraterity. The celebration of the UAE National Day is being coordinated under the umbrella of Kochi Metro.
Both these actors and others taking part in the event have strong business and cultural connections in the UAE. Ravindhar told the Emirates News Agency, WAM, that Indian national days are celebrated with great fanfare in the UAE, when Burj Khalifa and other landmarks are festooned in the colours of the Indian national flag.
The celebrations near Coimbatore is, in part, a gesture of gratitude to the UAE for these observances. While official functions to mark UAE National Day are held in the Indian capital every year, this will be the first time that a people-to-people initiative is being undertaken.
Indians living in the UAE are putting their best foot forward to make the pioneering celebration a success.