He has a fanatical following in India, is
revered by many as nothing short of God himself
and all his movies run into packed houses. But
that’s not fame enough for Tamil superstar
The actor, who
celebrated his 57th birthday on December 12, is
also a sensation in faraway Japan as Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh found out himself.
blockbuster Odoru Maharaj (The Dancing
Maharaja) found a special mention in the context
of strengthening of Indo-Japan ties as Manmohan
Singh addressed Japanese law on Thursday.
Manmohan Singh –
who is on a four-day visit to the country -
referred to the 1995 movie in his address to the
joint session of Diet (Japan's Parliament) and
said he was delighted to hear about its
popularity among the young Japanese.
He, however, added
that Japan's own 'Odori Asimo' (the dancing
robot) was also impressing children in India, a
remark that received much applause from the
The role of food
in promoting the relations between the two
countries also found a mention in PM’s speech.
"I believe the number of Indian restaurants in
Japan has increased phenomenally. I assure you
that sushi and tempura are becoming popular in
India," he said.
also spoke about the common civilisational
heritage the two countries shared and Buddhism
being the "oldest bond".
In modern times,
he said Rabindranath Tagore and Okakura Tenshin
had built new bridges of understanding between
the two great Asian nations.
"The idea of new
partnership between Japan and India has found
its moment today. I come here to give concrete
shape to the idea so that the future generations
of our countries will be able to thank us for
the part we are trying to play in making the 21
st century an Asian century," he said.