Buoyed by the success of two people-to-people events during the UAE’s 48th National Day, South India’s film fraternity has resolved to make such events a continuous observance until the 50th anniversary of formation of the UAE.
Taking stock of the two-day events in south Indian states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, well-known Malayalam film actor Ravindhar, CEO of Kochi Metro, a non-governmental organisation which organised the celebrations, told the Emirates News Agency, “The celebrations have proved very popular and have raised awareness among people about the UAE.
The UAE‘s 48th National Day celebrations in South India began on Sunday in Palakkad in Kerala, when 130 motorbikes, with the UAE and Indian National Flags fluttering on each two-wheeler, went on a serpentine rally through the town that lasted almost two hours.
Thousands of people lined up on both sides of city roads to watch the rally and cheer the bike riders. Several thousands of people from Palakkad live and work in the UAE.
The motorcyclists came from four bike clubs in Palakkad in response to a call to rally for UAE-India friendship given out by Kochi Metro, composed of highly talented and experienced individuals in the Indian film industry.
Renowned film actor Mohanlal, who has a fan following of millions of people in Kerala and the South Indian diaspora in the Gulf, is Chairman of this NGO.
On Monday, the tinsel town of Pollachi in south Indian state of Tamil Nadu came alive when Mohanlal, Ravindhar and other film personalities addressed an audience and spoke about the significance of the UAE’s National Day and the upcoming golden jubilee of the formation of the federation.
After rendering the national anthems of the UAE and India, a musical audio-visual album of Emirati poet Shihab Ghanem’s poetry was released and played before a large audience. Ghanem is the recipient of the Tagore Peace Award in 2012 from the Asian Society in Kolkata.
The poetry about the rise of the UAE was made into songs by a Sharjah school student Meenakshi Jayakumar. In 2016, Jayakumar was awarded the title of “Munshid Sharjah” at a music reality show in the emirate.
Images of the life and legacy of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan were also shown on a big screen.
In mellifluous Malayalam, the master of ceremonies, Ayisha Zakkheer Hussain, an advocate living in Abu Dhabi, explained the significance of the central theme of the Pollachi event, ‘Big Salute to UAE: the land of happiness, opportunity and tolerance.’ Actor Mohanlal said his association with the UAE went back to 38 years. He has lived in Dubai for two decades.