GAMES WATCH: Bungling Games eye Bolly rescue – to pay or not to ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH
BY ARCHIS MOHAN
New Delhi, Aug. 29: If the song can’t, surely the dance Khan?
The Commonwealth Games organisers may fall back on tried-and-trusted Bollywood to make the October 3 opening ceremony a success after A.R. Rahman’s theme song failed to impress the Group of Ministers (GoM).
The two names being considered are both Dilli da puttars and big international brands: Shah Rukh Khan and Akshay Kumar.
Till now, the Games committee’s policy had been to keep Bollywood out, but sources said it may just have been an excuse to keep Amitabh Bachchan out. Now, with the preparations suffering one setback after another, the temptation to draft in tinsel town is growing.
There’s hallowed precedent too, although when Bachchan was the brand ambassador for the 1982 Delhi Asiad, there was no hip-shaking. That was a different era, when official opening ceremonies were all about official “culture”.
But when the BJP’s V.K. Malhotra mooted Big B’s name for Games 2010 five months ago, Suresh Kalmadi quickly nixed the suggestion, no doubt mindful of the changed Bachchan-Gandhi equations. Both Shah Rukh and Akshay, though, pass the Congress-Gandhi test comfortably.
SRK not only comes from a traditional Congress family but is also close to Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Vadra. Akshay is the son-in-law of veteran actor and former Congress MP Rajesh Khanna, who lost narrowly to L.K. Advani in the 1991 polls but won the by-election a year later against the BJP’s Shatrughan Sinha.
However, there is a hitch: Shah Rukh may be abroad around the time of the opening ceremony.
“I have not been asked to lead any aspect of the Commonwealth Games from my line of work, to do a dance to promote it, but if I were asked, I would have done it,” news agency ANI quoted him as saying on Thursday.
He denied having been offered a huge fee to perform at the Games inauguration. “I am yet to be asked… but I am out of the country in October shooting for Don 2.”
Sources in Delhi, though, hoped that an approach from the “right quarters” would persuade SRK to participate.
Yesterday, Rahman had unveiled the Games theme song, Yaaro Ye India Bula Liya, 12 days behind schedule. At an earlier preview at a GoM meeting, he had been requested to tweak it a little. Today, Malhotra said people expected a better song from Rahman.
Many old timers feel the song isn’t anywhere close to the one for Asiad 1982, Swagatam Shubha Swagatam, whose lyrics were recited by Bachchan at the inauguration.