Bollywood stars come calling to Valley

The efforts of the government to bring Bollywood back to the Valley bore some fruit today as a film crew shot at the picturesque Tulip Garden in the foothills of the Zabarwan range.
Even as schedules of several film shootings had been cancelled last year due to the unrest, the authorities say more stars were coming to the Valley in the coming days that would renew Kashmir’s Bollywood connection.
“Star cast of movie ‘India Tujhe Salaam’ starring Bollywood actor Ashutosh Rana and Aarya Babbar, son of veteran star Raj Babbar, was shooting at the Tulip Garden today. This surely is a good sign and we are hopeful that more stars will come for shooting at the garden,” said an official of the Floriculture Department.
A Tourism Department official said more shoots were on the cards. “Many producers have approached us who want to shoot at the garden and elsewhere in the Valley. If the situation remains conducive this year, we are expecting that Bollywood would be back like before in Kashmir,” he said.
Before the eruption of militancy more than 27 years ago, movie shootings were a norm in the Valley and the government in the past had made several efforts to revive the connection.
The efforts saw a positive result when parts of Shahrukh Khan starrer ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’ were shot in the Valley in 2012. In the following years, popular films like ‘Fitoor’ ‘Bajrangi Bhaijan’, ‘Phantom’ and ‘Haider’ among others were also shot here.
However, Kashmir and Bollywood connection was snapped yet again last year due to the unrest. However, the government is now hoping that the situation will remain peaceful. “Last year, several movie shootings were cancelled due to the situation. We are hoping that the situation remains peaceful this year so that Bollywood and tourists make a big comeback to Kashmir,” the tourism official said.

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