I Love My India (But Only For A Price)

April 12, 2006
Mr Natwarlal

At the recently concluded Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia, an eleven-minute Bollywood extravaganza cost nearly Rs 40 crore ($8.9 million). At the same time, the daily allowance for Indian athletes was reduced by $30.

According to Shoaib Iqbal, deputy speaker of Delhi's Vidhan Sabha, Rs11 crore was sanctioned by the central government and Rs29 crore was provided by the Delhi government for the ceremony.

Several Bollywood stars who didn't even participate in the 11 minute extravaganza were flown to Melbourne and put up in 5-star hotels courtesy of the fiscally responsible Indian government.

Some of the stars and staff who showed up to be paid all in the name of patriotism included:

* Manisha Koirala and Pooja Bedi allegedly who flew in but did not perform.
* Aishwarya Rai charged Rs 3 crore (~$675,000) for a few minutes work
* Rani Mukherjee charged Rs 2 crore (~$450,000) also charged for a few strenuous minutes of exertion.
* Priyanka Chopra and Lara Dutta also charged Rs 1 crore (~$225,000) simply for waving to the crowd.
* Hairdressers, make-up artists, and family members and friends were also allowed to get in on the deal with accomodation in luxury hotels to accomodate the stars.

"Though these stars repeatedly said they were glad to be part of Team India, they charged us huge amounts. I have a recording of Aishwarya Rai where she declares that she was participating solely due to her patriotic fervour. Nevertheless, she charged a whopping Rs3 crore to perform for a few minutes," stated Iqbal.

I find this whole escapade disturbing and hilarious on multiple fronts:

1. One billion people and no Olympic gold medals - As a country, we are either the most athletically uninclined people in the universe or just the most severely underfunded athletic department in the world. China goes to the winter and summer olympics and racks up numerous medals every time. We send a small group of poorly trained 'athletes' to these events on a global stage and come back empty handed everytime. Yes we win medals at the Asian games or the Commonwealth games, but who honestly cares about those? And so now to add insult to injury, our government is throwing money at Bollywood stars instead of building gyms, playing fields, swimming pools, etc. Priorities.

2. Bollywood stars are full of crap. If you listen to interviews with Bollywood stars, they always seem to say the right thing about a movie or their love of India, but this is proof positive that in the end, it comes down the almighty Rupee (or dollar). It's particularly appalling with someone like Aishwarya who acts all righteous in her media interviews but then can ask for absurd amounts of money for a few minutes of work.

3. Some Indian government officials have the IQ of monkeys. I can think of at least a couple million better uses of nearly $9 million when it comes to India. It's good to see our politicians putting so much thought into how they expend the country's resources. After all, all the fault doesn't lie with the Bollywood stars as if someone wanted to give me hundreds of thousands of dollars for a few minutes work, I wouldn't say no either.

Mr Natwarlal has counted to infinity twice. http://desidiarrhea.blogspot.com
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April 12, 2006
04:20 AM

Natwar: I was amazed at the show put up in Melbourne and as the commentators put it 'Delhi had taken over Melbourne'. But I didn't know the ungly side of it. Thanks for pointing it out. Do you have any link for further reading ?

April 12, 2006
12:17 PM

Politicians are doing it all the time, why not film stars?

A freebie is a freebie.

I would donate the money to charity, if I were Aishwarya. Good for the needy, and good for publicity, too.

April 12, 2006
01:25 PM

Err...MR. Natwarlal, I object to the insult where in the monkeys were compared to the Indian Politicians. I strongly believe previous ancestral similarity should not be used for the purpose of slander.

Mr Natwarlal
April 12, 2006
01:32 PM

To comment #3 by Queer. I wanted to clarify. Do you think comparing Indian politicians to monkeys is an insult to the politicians or the monkeys? I'd agree that monkeys are probably smarter than many Indian politicians.

To any monkeys reading this, I apologize for my slanderous comment.

April 13, 2006
05:14 AM

Mr Natwarlal,
If i were you i'd be careful of that Gandhi lady (Sanjay's wife if im right). You're insulting animals and politicians, although i fear she will take slight at the insult of the former.

November 30, 2006
01:59 PM

i'd actually like to point out that i think the film stars are less intelligent than the monkeys. there are some politicians who are above this group (very few) and some who aren't (bal thackeray, jyoti basu, etc. are as corrupt as they come). i hate to undermine anybody's patriotism but it seems to me that aishwarya rai and other b'wood stars all have patriotism that doesn't mean anything; it's very idle and it's ALL talk. if they were truly patriotic they would see to the benefit of the country. india would progress even more if it encouraged and financially supported athletic development instead of having its "hand in the [athletic] cookie jar".
i vote for a new athletic event called "patriotic hip shaking" where ms. rai and co. can make asses of themselves. i'm sure her fans would dole out large sums of money in order to establish this as a sport in replacement for real sports like, running or field hockey. thus, india will make further progress toward becoming the next nation most likely to have the fattest middle and upper classes in the world. the poor there unlike here (here, where junk food is a dime a dozen), actually move around and stay rail thin due to malnutrition and backbreaking work. what a plight.

November 30, 2006
02:14 PM

one more comment out of shock: "proud to be part of TEAM INDIA"?!?!? that part of TEAM INDIA is more like, "the glitzy contingent of severely unathletic, money-grubbing fools for indian athlete deprivation". i saw some of them run during the olympic torch run which was pathetic. is india so devoid of athletes that they employ athletically challenged idiots to carry the torch? THESE are the people india looks up to? WHAT A SHAME.

December 1, 2006
01:42 AM

aargh! what a collosal waste of tax money? Isnt there anyone to question in parliament?

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