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Afghan women love Shahrukh, Kareena

Kabul, August 28
They are already icons in India, and it does come as a surprise that they rule the hearts of Afghans — be it women or cab drivers — as well.
If it was Raj Kapoor and Nargis Dutt in the former Soviet Union, the cinematic flavour of the season in Afghanistan are Bollywood stars Shahrukh Khan, Kareena Kapoor and Amitabh Bachchan.

ANI spoke to two Afghan journalists — Sukhriya Kohistan of the Kabul Times and Makiah Muneer of Aajwakh, both of whom looked resplendent in Rajasthani dupattas, which they said were brought from Southhall in London.

Both Kohistan and Muneer said they loved the Indian markets in Southhall, especially the “salwar kameez”, but lamented that it was their long-cherished desire to get these products directly from India.

Asked what was their favourite Indian television serial, and they said it was most definitely — the very popular Kaun Banega Crorepati -2 featuring cine legend Amitabh Bachchan as the anchor. They also said that now most Afghanis were getting comfortable speaking and communicating in Urdu and loved to watch Hindi films.

In fact, they said, that their view of India was guided by what they saw in the Indian movies and television serials, but now they were realising that there was much more to India than what they saw on screen.

Both Sukhriya and Makiah said that they would like this landmark visit of the Indian Prime Minister, the first in 29 years, to be the harbinger of greater bilateral cooperation in many areas, especially in the field of journalism.

Asked about reports of the changing face of Afghanistan, they said there were changes, but these would take time to bloom fully. Democracy, they said, was returning to Afghanistan after years of radical Islamic rule under the Taliban regime, but very very slowly.

Democracy as understood in India was still a distant dream for most Afghanis, they said. While things were improving in the city, the interiors of Afghanistan still retained their traditions and conservative outlook on life.

Travelling on public transport was still not safe for women, but they said they saw a light at the end of the dark tunnel with the Indian Prime Minister’s visit. India, they said was an old friend of Afghanistan, and it was hoped that these traditional ties would facilitate modern development and greater freedoms.

They, however, cautioned that freedom as understood in the West, would not be acceptable in Afghanistan. Democracy here, they said was being created in such way as to suit the sensitivities of the Afghan people. — ANI


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