London’s Mayor, Sadiq Khan, who is seeking a third term in office, has a unique proposition for Bollywood filmmakers. He is extending an invitation to the Indian film industry to recreate the iconic movie ‘Amar Akbar Anthony’ on the streets of London. Khan, who was born in London to parents from Pakistan, sees this as an opportune moment for such a project in a city that has a rich history of hosting Bollywood productions.
“I have a proposal for Bollywood. Please consider remaking ‘Amar Akbar Anthony’ in the UK because we have a Christian king (King Charles III), a Muslim mayor (myself), and a Hindu Prime Minister (Rishi Sunak),” Khan enthusiastically suggests. The Mayor, who grew up in Tooting, a culturally diverse neighborhood in South London, humorously adds, “I’d even love to play Amitabh Bachchan’s role.”
The original film, ‘Amar Akbar Anthony,’ featured Vinod Khanna as a Hindu police officer, Rishi Kapoor as a Muslim qawwali singer, and Amitabh Bachchan as a Christian liquor seller. London has already become a preferred destination for Bollywood film shoots and investments, and Khan believes this initiative could further enhance the city’s allure.
“London is the ideal place for Bollywood films to be shot, and for people to come and invest. I look forward to welcoming Indians as students, tourists, investors, and as a backdrop for Bollywood productions,” says Khan, who joined the Labour Party at the young age of 15.
Khan often fondly recalls his family’s humble beginnings in London, where his father drove the city’s iconic red buses, his mother worked as a seamstress, and one of his brothers pursued a career as a motor mechanic. He emphasizes the invaluable contributions of Indians who have chosen London as their home. “One of the reasons why London stands as the greatest city in the world is because Indians have chosen to make it their home. These Londoners have gone on to become doctors, businesspeople, politicians, chemists, pharmacists, scientists, journalists, and more. Our diversity is our strength, and London is a place where you can realize your potential. I call it the London Promise,” he declares, underlining the city’s inclusive and welcoming ethos.
Khan is well-known for his outspoken views against Brexit and his commitment to promoting unity and diversity. In 2005, he left his legal career to become the Member of Parliament for Tooting, where he resides with his lawyer wife, Saadiya, and their two daughters.
Sadiq Khan’s proposal to recreate ‘Amar Akbar Anthony’ in London not only highlights the vibrant diversity and inclusivity of the city but also signifies its strong ties with Bollywood. London’s unique blend of cultures and traditions provides the perfect backdrop for such a project, fostering further collaboration between the two entertainment powerhouses.