Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan on Thursday made a strong pitch for cinema as a unifying medium in order to disintegrate the system that divides people on the lines of colour, caste and religion.
Bachchan, who was speaking at the inaugural session of Indian Panorama section at the ongoing 50th edition of the International Film Festival of India, said that the darkened cinema hall is home to diverse sets of people drawn by the magic of cinema.
"I hope we continue to make films which can bring people together and disintegrate this rather odd system of keeping sides due to colour, caste and religion, bringing us all into one community, making us hold hands together to appreciate our creativity and take a step forward in making this world a peaceful place," Bachchan said.
"I have always felt that cinema is a universal medium, one that is beyond language and all kinds of factors that keep coming in our social and moral lives. When we sit inside the darkened hall, we never ask for the caste, creed and colour or religion of the person sitting next to us," he added.
"Yet we enjoy the same films, we sing the same songs, laugh at the same jokes, cry at the same emotions. There are very few mediums left in this fast disintegrating world, that can claim such integration," the veteran actor noted.
Bachchan also said that the ongoing 50th edition of the film festival also coincides with his 50 year as an actor. He made his debut in the 1969 film, "Saat Hindustani".
26 feature films and 15 non-feature films will be screened as part of Indian Panorama at IFFI 2019.
The nine-day long IFFI is billed as one of Asia's largest international film festivals, during which nearly 200 films from 76 countries will be screened for an over 7,000-strong contingent of delegates.