Applauding the cinematic genius of Bollywood mega star Amitabh Bachchan, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown described the actor as one of the “greatest talents” of our time.
Brown spoke glowingly of the 67-year-old star as he presented him with the keys for a Mobile Diabetes Unit at a charity dinner here last night.
The bus, named ‘Amitabh’ in the honour of Big B, will help screen people in Mumbai for diabetes and has been donated by diabetes prevention charity organisation ‘Silver Star’, founded by Indian-origin Labour MP, Keith Vaz in 2007.
“It is a pleasure to be here with Amitabh Bachchan. I talked to him just as we arrived. I was saying that I had 4 million viewers in a TV interview. I asked how many people will watch his next film and he said 500 million people. That shows the greatness of this man,” Brown said.
“Some years ago, we met in India and now here. He is more prosperous now. He is one of the greatest talents of our generation,” the Prime Minister added.
Bachchan was joined by Bollywood actors Sanjay Dutt and Shilpa Shetty at the charity event.
Brown described Shetty as an “acting phenomenon and a committed humanitarian“.
“Your campaign for AIDS awareness is an inspiration. We all know the stigma attached to HIV and AIDS but no injustice should be allowed to last for ever, you are tackling one of the difficult issues,” he said.
Brown also said that the modern Britain will not be same without its strong bond with India.
“Let us be absolutely clear, modern Britain will not be the same without our strong bond with India and the enormous part played by the Anglo-Indian community here. With our strategic partnership with India, we can celebrate in everything we do,” the Prime Minister said.
“There is no doubt India is a modern global success story about which all of us should be proud of,” he added.
Bachchan thanked Brown for lending his support and encouragement to the cause and congratulated Vaz.
“Timely detection of this severe ailment can go a long way in its management to the noble cause,” Bachchan said.
Noting that Silver Star has plans to launch similar units in Kerala and Delhi, Bachchan said he looked forward to seeing “all of you in India, in the not too distant future.”
‘Amitabh’ is the second Silver Star Mobile Diabetes Unit in India. Last year Bachchan launch the first mobile unit in Goa, which has so far tested 2075 people.
”Seven million people in the UK have diabetes and have not been diagnosed, and over 50 million people in India are diabetic,” Vaz said.