Bollywood internet forums and Australian cultural diplomacy
In May 2009, the Indian prime minister, Manmohan Singh, expressed his concern to the then Australian prime minister, Kevin Rudd, over attacks on Indian students in Melbourne and Sydney. Despite the assertion by the Australian high commissioner that the attacks were not racially motivated, Amitabh Bachchan and Aamir Khan added their voices to those of the Indian government, Bachchan deciding not to accept an honorary degree "from a country that perpetrates such indignity to [sic] my fellow countrymen" (Doherty 2009). A few days later, the Federation of Western India Cine Employees Association wrote to film producers requesting them to boycott filming in Australia (Jha 2009), a request supported publicly by the directors of Salaam Namaste (Siddharth Anand, 2005), Heyy Babyy (Sajid Khan, 2007), and Singh is Kinng(Anees Bazmee, 2008), all of which were filmed in Australia. In an effort to assuage Indian public opinion, Kevin Rudd met an invited delegation of Indian journalists in Canberra, telling them that the Indian community was a vital contributor to Australia's food, culture, and music: "We have a deep affection for your country and both of us enjoy Bollywood and cricket" (Krishnan 2009).