The lungi that was curiously missing from Shah Rukh Khan's attire in Lungi dance — the hit number from Khan's recently released Chennai Express — made an unexpected appearance in the drawing rooms of billions. Khan, taking a cue from a friendly on-stage banter with actor Raveena Tandon, wrapped a lungi and grooved to its tunes.
The actor took time out to perform at Saath Hain Hum Uttarakhand, a seven-hour marathon event on Independence Day at the National Sports Club of India grounds, Mumbai, which played live across multiple channels under the Star India umbrella. Actor Amitabh Bachchan and composer AR Rahman, among others, also took part in the event. "In India, media and the creative community is often questioned about their role in social responsibility. This is a way of showing that the industry is aware of what is happening around. An event of this scale puts the money where the mouth is," said Uday Shankar, CEO, Star India, the media network that forged the initiative with Film and Television Producers Guild.
Bachchan's heartfelt recitation of a poem written by Prasoon Joshi accompanied Mera desh, a song composed and sung at the event by Shankar Mahadevan. Rahman crooned to a capella versions of his earlier hits and actor Ayushmann Khurrana performed a song he wrote for the cause. Other notable names who participated in the event included actors Anil Kapoor, Abhishek Bachchan, Vidya Balan, Kajol and John Abraham. Several television personalities, such as Deepika Singh and Anad Rashid of Diya aur Baati Hum, were also a part of the event. Also present was Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan.
Apart from the advertising revenue collected from the event, money from a special ongoing campaign on the Star channels will be donated for the cause. Shankar added that Star India hopes to build a model of similar charitable events that will bring in film and television industry in times of crisis. As for the decision to go live on August 15, Shankar admitted that the symbolic values of Independence Day go with the cause. "Also, a live show can bring the necessary urgency and spontaneity involved with it," he added.