Mahesh Bhatt weighed in on his expert advice at the inauguration of the 25th Kolkata International Film Festival last night. Speaking alongside King Khan Shah Rukh Khan during the extravaganza, the ace filmmaker and father of Alia Bhatt, spoke about coming together to celebrate diversity in India. He threw shade at those who impose their language on others and do not allow the freedom of expression, speech or discourse. "These are dangerous times. In the age of highest connectivity we are the most divided. That's why we need story tellers to tell stories which can bring us all together. The glue that held mankind together has withered," said Mahesh.
He also shed light on the hope of a better tomorrow, in a time where the "structures all around us globally are collapsing". Mahesh added, "I think the story tellers must do what mamas did at home. When the house fought and children fell apart mama would bring us all together by telling us the fascinating story that kindled hope. That's what we are celebrating here today.”
Bhatt continued, “"It is we film makers, we story tellers, we artists who are generous people, Who will whip out from our hearts the idea of a better tomorrow, and then point in the direction and compel people to walk in that direction. Don't impose your language on people. This is a great country. And its greatness lies in its diversity. Let us celebrate this diversity. As long as filmmakers are there, as long as artists are there, we will dare to hope and defy those who tell us to speak only one language". Shah Rukh also urged for wonderful films with great stories to continue being made. "We keep on making these wonderful films, have great stories to tell, and like Bhatt saab said, stories that will bind us together, bring us together, and celebrate our diversity.”