External Affairs Ministry wins overseas rights for SRK movies

Also: N Korea confers MFN status on Mamata’s W Bengal

New Delhi/Kolkata/Pyongyang: In what can be described as a significant victory for India’s recent foreign policy initiatives, the External Affairs Ministry has landed itself the lucrative overseas market rights for Sharukh Khan’s Bollywood blockbusters.

The landmark deal was formally inked by India’s Foreign Minister S M Krishna and Sharukh Khan on behalf of his production company Red Chillies Entertainment at a solemn function here, the highlight of which was Krishna formally striking the Chammak Chalo pose by extending an arm and an open palm with an angled head and a bent hip. Sharukh, for the record, has not exactly come out of that pose that he seems to have been stuck in since the days of Ra.One’s release.

A beaming Krishna later told newsmen that the deal was only a logical extension of an existing reality. ‘My Ministry has always been at the service of Sharukh. We have accorded him the Most Favoured Individual status on many occasions. Now we will provide that treatment for his films, too,’ Krishna said.

‘Also,’ he astutely pointed out, ‘more than Sharukh, it’s his films that need real lobbying‘.

Ever the diplomat, Sharukh, for his part, symbolised the coming together of his film company and the external affairs ministry, by thoughtfully gifting Krishna that will further enhance his image in the international diplomatic circuit —- a wig, specially handcrafted by a top Bollywood hairstylist, that is.

Sharukh hoped that Krishna would further formalise his links with the film industry by getting into acting. ‘He already has the looks, that of poor man’s Girish Karnad’.

Interjecting at this point, Krishna pointed out he was not exactly new to acting. ‘When I was the Governor of Tamil Nadu, I was also the acting Governor of Andhra Pradesh for a few months’.

After this attempted joke by Krishna, the function quickly ended.

Anyway, following the inking of this new deal, Indian diplomats, attached to the various Consulates and High Commissions across the globe, who are already saddled with the onerous task of attending many diplomatic cocktail parties, will have the additional responsibility of turning up at Bollywood film dos, too.

It may be recalled that after the release of Ra.One a couple of countries threatened to sever their diplomatic and trade links with India. But now with this new deal in place, India can hope for lesser hostility from foreign countries.

Elsewhere, policy wonks and think tanks, who have no real meaningful work to pursue, said the deal between Sharukh’s film company and India’s External Affairs Ministry, would be a major shot in the arm for India’s nuclear programme.

‘The Foreign Ministry now has a real bargaining chip. They can threaten to screen a film like Ra.One or Don-2 in whichever country that refuses to supply stuff like Uranium. After that they will have no option but to send across things that India demands,’ they explained.  ‘If such a threat doesn’t work, we are afraid that the Indian Foreign Affairs Ministry has to up the ante and go for the jugular by, well, bagging the international rights for Akshay Kumar movies’.

Elsewhere, staying with international relations, North Korea today announced that it was conferring the Most Favoured Nation status on Mamata Banerjee’s West Bengal for ‘leading her State in a manner laid out by the Supreme Leader Kim Jong-il’.

A communique from the North Korean’s President’s office said: ‘Mamata Banerjee is proving to the world that you need not be really a Communist to be actually a Communist’

‘To think your own photo to be a caricatured cartoon, as Mamata has done recently, is something that the Supreme Leader would have been proud of,’ Kim Jong-un, who succeeded the ‘Supreme Leader’ Kim Jong-il as the President of North Korea by the democratic accepted method of being his son, said in his communiqué.

The Most Favoured Nation status conferred by North Korea will provide many benefits to Mamata Banerjee’s West Bengal, including the permission to replace the statue of Lenin with Kim Jong-il’s on the streets of Kolkata.

North Korea also promised to provide all the technical know-how and the complete blueprint of its famed rocked technology for use during the fireworks display at the end of Kolkata’s famed Durga Pooja.

(Disclaimer: We strongly suspect the Ra.One film scriptwriter to be the father of North Korean rocket technology)