The Sun never sets on Indian films: PM

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New Delhi, Sep 26 (UNI) Describing Hindi films as a unifying force in the country, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said the Sun never sets on Indian films.

''Hollywood may have more money invested in it, it may be a bigger business, but I am sure more people across the World actually watch Bollywood movies! More people laugh and shed tears, more people sing and cheer watching an Indian film,''Dr Singh said after releasing the autobiography of Bollywood matinee idol Dev Anand ''Romancing with life''.

Amid the presence of matinee Idol Dev Anand himself and Union Cabinet ministers A R Antulay and T Subirami Reddy, the Prime Minister released the autobiography along with Congress President Sonia Gandhi at a brief function held at the Prime Minister's office.

Paying tributes to the Hindi Film industry and Dev Anand, whom he described as its tallest leader, Dr Singh said,''it's not official Hindi, or Government Hindi, that unites the length and the breadth of the country, but infact popular spoken Hindi, as popularised by Hindi cinema. This unique mix of conversational Hindi from across the country has become the thread that weaves us all together.'' The launch of Dev Anand's autobiography published by penguin coincided with the Bollywood thespian's 84th birthday, which also happens to be the Prime Minister's birthday.

Describing Dev Anand as a ''delightfully romantic and endearing artist'', the Prime Minister said,''he is possibly one of the most eternal romantics in the last half century. It is only fitting, therefore, that Dev Anand ji has titled his autobiography 'Romancing with Life'.

The Prime Minister quoted in this context the famous couplet ''Sitaron Ke Aage Jahan Aur Bhi Hain, Abhi Ishq Ke Imtihan Aur Bhi Hain', which, he said, aptly summed up the philosophy of Dev Anand's life.

Expressing hope that Dev Anand's autobiography would inspire newer generations of Indians to aspire for a life of greater creativity, Dr Singh said,''his is a classic rags to riches life where those riches have been earned through dint of hard work and dedication. Dev Anand's life is a tribute to the world of opportunity and creativity that the Indian film industry has come to represent. I hope popular creative artists like Dev Anand will inspire our people and motivate them to work harder, work together and work purposefully.'' Speaking on the occasion, Bollywood matinee Idol, wishing the Prime Minister on his birthday, said he was grateful to him for ''giving me a precious present on this day by agreeing to present my book to the world.'' He was effusive in his praise for both Dr Singh and Mrs Gandhi.

''I admire her for trying to maintain and continue the legacy of the late Pt Jawaharlal Nehru. Both Mrs Gandhi and Dr Singh have the capacity to take the country skywards to touch the stars and the moon to make the country an envy of the World,''Dev Anand said.

Talking about his autobiography, the matinee Idol said,''it charts my journey from an ordinary boy to the person who stands before you today. It is the story of a non entity who has covered 62 years of his journey of life to reach a point where he has had the unique honour of coming to the Prime Minister's office and have his autobiography released by him.'' Pointing to his photograph on his autobiography, Dev Anand said,''this is an ordinary man albeit in a very extraordinary way.'' On choosing the title 'Romancing With Life' for his autobiography, Dev Anand said,''I call its 'Romancing with Life' as I have been romancing with joys, sorrow, pain and pleasure through the journey of my life.'' UNI

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