British celebrities who will be performing at the closing ceremony of the London Olympics this July are receiving just one pound (Rs 85) as payment. Reason — it’s a matter of national pride.
Bollywood stars, on the other hand, continue to charge crores for acts at events of national importance.
Those expected to be putting up a show at the Olympics for almost nothing include supermodels Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell, pop stars Adele, Robbie Williams, George Michael, and legends Paul McCartney and Elton John, among others.
When India was handed over the rights as the next host of the Commonwealth Games at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games (2006), the patriotic performances by Indian stars came at an exorbitant price.
Rs 40 crore was reportedly spent on an 11-minute show by actors Saif Ali Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Aishwarya Rai and Rani Mukerji, among others.
Ash is believed to have been paid Rs 3cr, Lara and Rani Rs 1.5cr each, and Saif, Rs 75lakh. When the Games came to India in 2010, maestro AR Rahman charged Rs 5crore for composing an anthem for the event.
While the stars who put up the show chose not to comment, others say it’s time Bollywood took a cue.
“What they’re doing in London is commendable. I have no idea why our stars were paid so much. One should definitely put the nation above personal gain,” says Bishen Singh Bedi, former Indian cricket captain.
“International stars charge billions for their records and shows, but since it’s about Olympics in their own country, they realise the importance. It’s unfortunate that a similar national feeling does not prevail in India,” says Kirti Azad, MP and ex-cricketer.
Filmmaker Prahlad Kakkar says, “Everyone focussed on making money at CWG, so did the stars. No one really cared here.”