London Mayor Sadiq Khan, gunning for a third term, has a request for Bollywood: he wants them to redo the superhit ‘Amar Akbar Anthony’.
Mr Khan, born in London in 1970 to parents who had arrived from Pakistan, explains why he believes that this is the right moment for such a request from a city like London which isn’t unfamiliar to Bollywood.
“I have a Proposal to Bollywood. Please redo Amar Akbar Anthony in the UK because we have a Christian king (Ling Charles III), a Muslim mayor (he himself) and a Hindu Prime Minister (Rishi Sunak),” said Mr Khan, who grew up in public housing with his six brothers and sister in Tooting, an ethnically diverse residential area in the south of the city.
“I’d get to play Amitabh Bachchan’s part,” the Mayor said with a chuckle.
The movie featured Vinod Khanna (a Hindu police officer), Rishi Kapoor (a Muslim qawwali singer) and Amitabh Bachchan (Christian liquor seller).
“London is the number one place for Bollywood films to be filmed and for people to come and invest in. I’m looking forward to Indians coming here as students, as tourists, as investors, and for locations for Bollywood movies,” said Mr Khan, who joined the Labour Party aged 15.
Mr Khan regularly recalls how his father drove London’s famous red buses, his mother was a seamstress and one of his brothers is a motor mechanic.
“One of the reasons why London is the greatest city in the world is because Indians have chosen to make it their home. These are Londoners who have gone on to become doctors, business people, politicians, chemists, pharmacists, scientists, journalists and so forth. Our diversity is a strength. London is a place where you can fulfil your potential. I call it the London Promise,” said Mr Khan, who made a name for himself as a vocal critic of Brexit.
In 2005 he gave up his legal career on becoming the member of parliament for Tooting, where he still lives with his lawyer wife Saadiya and their two daughters.