'Munna bhai' charms South AfricansDec 13, 2006 IANS
Lucknow, Dec 13 (IANS) South Africans attending a global judiciary summit here have found something special to carry back home - DVDs of Bollywood blockbuster 'Lage Raho Munna Bhai'.
"The movie has re-enlivened the non-violence philosophy practiced by Mahatma Gandhi who continues to remain close to the hearts of the South Africans," said Justice Kenneth Mithyane of the South African Supreme Court of Appeals.
Mithyane was here to participate in the 7th annual conference of top judicial functionaries of about 75 countries. The Lucknow-based chain City Montessori School hosted the meet.
"The theme of the film is really impressive and I am sure it'll be a big draw back home, even though perceptions have changed and today's generation may find it difficult to strictly follow Gandhi's ideology of offering the other cheek after being slapped on one," he said.
"We can never forget the contribution of the Mahatma in our freedom struggle and our fight against racism.
"Like in India, we also have statues of Mahatma Gandhi at prominent places. Though our government has not declared a holiday on his birth anniversary, we do pay rich tributes to him on Oct 2."
Fatima Chouhan, a young member of the South African parliament who was also here, said: "We have still preserved the (Phoenix) settlement established by Mahatma Gandhi."
Fatima, a fourth generation South African of Indian origin who traces her roots to Gujarat, added: "The Gandhian philosophy and ideals were highly respected in South Africa as his message of brotherhood, peace and harmony changed the lives of people in our country.
"'Munna Bhai' will be widely appreciated in South Africa. I'm carrying a couple of video discs for my family and friends."
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Lage Raho Munnabhai