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Israel, India bond over Raj Kapoor’s Ichak Dana Bichak Dana

A live band’s rendition of timeless Bollywood song Ichak Dana Bichak Dana proved the cherry on the cake when Prime Minister Narendra Modi hosted visiting Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu for lunch on Monday

india Updated: Jan 15, 2018 22:42 IST
Jayanth Jacob
Jayanth Jacob
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Israel,India,Benjamin Netanyahu
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, (R) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seen prior to a meeting at Hyderabad House in New Delhi , India, on Monday, January 15, 2018.(Ajay Aggarwal/HT PHOTO)

A live band’s rendition of timeless Bollywood song Ichak Dana Bichak Dana proved the cherry on the cake when Prime Minister Narendra Modi hosted visiting Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu for lunch on Monday.

Also, the song from Raj Kapoor’s 1955 film Shree 420 set the tone for the Israeli premier and wife Sara’s celluloid engagement in India after heavy-duty diplomatic commitments.

Netanyahu, popularly known as Bibi, said he and Sara are excited and happy that “we are going to Bollywood … and see it first-hand”. They will be in Mumbai on January 18 to attend an exclusive Shalom Bollywood event where a host of tinsel-town stars, including Amitabh Bachchan, will be present.

As the band played Ichak Dana Bichak Dana, many Israeli dignitaries accompanying Netanyahu gushed they know the song, said Vijay Gokhale, the economic relations secretary in the foreign ministry.

The band also played the popular Hebrew song, Hevenu Shalom Aleihem, which means “we brought peace upon you”. It is a traditional song sung by Jews after prayers at the synagogue.

Bollywood was clearly on everyone’s mind as the two countries signed a pact for co-production of films. This is “in recognition of the role films play in promoting people-to-people contact”, a joint statement said.

President Ram Nath Kovind too had a surprise to keep the spirits high for Netanyahu, the second Israeli premier to visit the country in 25 years after the two countries established diplomatic ties in 1992.

The visiting dignitary was served olive tea produced in Bikaner by the Rajasthan government in collaboration with Israeli partners, said a tweet from the President.

First Published: Jan 15, 2018 22:41 IST