By Ruchika Kher
Colombo, April 20 (IANS) Cinema is a great integrator, says Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan, here to announce Sri Lanka as the 2010 destination for the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) awards.
"I have always believed that cinema has been a great integrator. When we stand in the line to buy a ticket, we never ask who is giving us the ticket or who will be the person who will be sitting next to us in the hall, whether he will be a Sikh or a Buddhist," said the actor at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel Tuesday.
"When we sit inside this darkened room called the cinema hall, we enjoy the same things, we appreciate the same songs, we laugh on the same jokes, we cry on the same scenes.
"This is what cinema represents and I can say that in today's world, which is so fast disintegrated, that there is this one example where integration is present and I am very proud that I'm a small member of this fraternity that brings people together under one roof, under same emotions and builds heart so that we can show examples to nations," he added.
The 67-year-old brand ambassador of IIFA was welcomed with fanfare and colourfully dressed folk dancers who impressed the actor so much that he branded the reception as the best he has ever got in any of the IIFA destinations.
"Everyone is calling Sri Lanka a small country, but I don't believe in that. According to me, it's a very big country because it has a big heart and that makes it big. The kind of reception I have got here is by far the best I have got anywhere else.
"It's a beautiful country and I will urge my fellow industry members to come and explore this beautiful land," said Amitabh.
The IIFA awards will be held from June 3 to 5. Apart from the main award ceremony, a global business forum, a fashion extravaganza, a celebrity cricket match, a film workshop and premieres of upcoming films will also be held.