Posted Sun, November 15, 2015 12:02pm IST

Big B spoke about how the nation needs to revisit its rich cultural heritage to resolve issues of conflict

He is world famous for his eloquence. So, it was not surprising to see megastar Amitabh Bachchan give a rather well-researched and thoughtful speech at the opening of the Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF). Big B was accompanied by his wife, Jaya, who looked lovely in a white sari. Vidya Balan, Sharmila Tagore and Moushumi Chatterjee were also present.

The veteran actor spoke about how religious and communal divide was a serious issue facing the country and that communication was the need of the hour. The gathering at Netaji Indoor Stadium had bigwigs from all over West Bengal, including the state’s CM, Mamata Banerjee.

He reflected that Bengali literature and films had always taken a very tolerant view of society. Terming films as the “most persuasive form of entertainment”, he said that people needed to learn from them. Bachchan also quoted the fourth stanza of Rabindranath Tagore’s Jana Gana Mana at the event.

Bengal CM praised Big B saying that today when factionalism was gaining prominence, spreading the message of tolerance was of utmost priority.

The film festival is one of the premier events of the state and will showcase 148 films from 61 countries. It has a special competition section for women filmmakers as well.