SRK invokes ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ at IFFI

Superstar Shah Rukh Khan yesterday invoked the Sanskrit words Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (the world is a family) as he opened IFFI, attended by Bollywood and other luminaries but plagued by controversy.

The row over the release of Padmavati had members from the film industry urging stars to boycott the International Film Festival of India (IFFI), which also kicked up a furore last week when the I&B ministry decided to drop two films — S Durga and Nude — from the Indian Panorama section.

I&B minister Smriti Irani and Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar inaugurated the festival along with Shah Rukh Khan.

The actor, in his opening remarks said stories and movies connected people.

“There is a word in Sanskrit ,Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam. It means bringing the world together like a family. I believe no matter what your language, no matter what country your story comes from and no matter what ideologies, storytelling and listening should be a familial experience,” Shah Rukh said at the opening ceremony.

In what seemed like an oblique reference to the ongoing protests over Padmavati and the exclusion of the two films, he said, “…. Familial experience binds us all together, makes relationships stronger even in the face of dissent and discussion as it happens in a family, instead of tearing us apart,” he added.

The actor said India is the land of “stories, fables, cultural history, religious history, mythology and legends” and these stories give people and hope and inspiration.

“So tonight, it feels absolutely wonderful to be surrounded by storytellers of the world, at the birthplace of stories, that is India.”

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