Bollywood turns political in India election season

Bollywood turns political in India election season
Indian Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan poses for a photograph during a promotional event for the forthcoming Hindi film “Bhoothnath Returns”, directed by Nitesh Tiwari, in Mumbai on late February 25, 2014.

MUMBAI - Better known for its romantic escapism, Bollywood is releasing a series of political satires during India's election season that poke fun at corrupt lawmakers and religious tensions.

Featuring a goat, a ghost and a disputed dead body, three upcoming releases are aimed at making voters think before they cast their ballots - although none refers directly to real-life candidates.

In family entertainer "Bhoothnath Returns", opening Friday, Bollywood's biggest legend Amitabh Bachchan plays a friendly ghost who takes on an evil and corrupt local politician at the polls.

The comedy horror film "gives a serious message of voting through its storyline", Bachchan told the Press Trust of India news agency.

"One vote can bring a sea-change in our country and I feel youth should participate in large numbers to bring that change," said the 71-year-old, who has a history of politically-themed movies.

Director Nitesh Tiwari told AFP the film is about the virtues of "sacrifice, courage and patriotism".

"I hope children think this is how they want the future of their country to be, while adults should think that this is the difference they can make to the present. The theme is that we can all make a difference," Tiwari said.

Also opening next month is "Yeh Hai Bakrapur" ("This is Bakrapur"), a socio-political satire which explores the complex belief systems in rural India through the story of a pet goat who acquires celebrity status in his village and surroundings.

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