Mumbai, May 11 (IANS) He is Bollywood's true showman. Filmmaker Subhash Ghai has been going through tough times with the Bombay High Court asking him to return the plot where his film school, Whistling Woods International, stands, but he is not ready to slow down.
"I truly feel that the spirit must not die and the show must go on," Ghai told IANS in an interview.
He has continued to encourage students at his institute to work on a programme around 100 years of Indian cinema. It will be held June 1-2, and he is expecting the support of several celebrities.
"Our students have taken complete charge for a programme of 100 years of Indian cinema. We don't want to demoralise or discourage our students.
"No matter in what situation we are, we shall emerge out of it. We can work under fire, the spirit should not die. God will help us. There will be various activities that will take place on June 1, 2 and 3. Lots of celebrities, directors and actors like Salman Khan will come and join us," he added.
Ghai, who had set up his film institute in Film City, Goregaon in Mumbai in 2006, says he had not in his worst dreams imagined being in the situation that he is in now.
"Even in my worst dream I could have never imagined anything like this; neither would the government have imagined that this would happen," said the 67-year-old, credited for films like "Kalicharan", "Karz", "Karma", "Ram Lakhan", "Saudagar", "Khalnayak", "Pardes" and "Taal".
In April, the Supreme Court dismissed an appeal by Mukta Arts Ltd, owned by Ghai, challenging a Bombay High Court ruling cancelling the allotment of 20 acres of prime land in Goregaon east for the state-of-the-art world-class film academy.
Ghai, according to lawyers, will have to immediately return 14.5 acres of land, but can continue to hold 5.5 acres on which the institute stands till the last batch passes out in 2014.
He recently sent the authorities another petition asking them to reconsider his case.
"We have been asked to pay Rs.79 crore, which is impossible for us. I have immense faith in the judiciary of our country. I hope some kind of consideration will be taken from the victim's point of view.
"I've not done any crime, not misused anything, not used one inch of the place for anything else. God's blessings are with me," he said.
Ghai feels lucky that the film fraternity is supporting him in his hard days.
"The industry is with me, the entire association is with me. We all strongly feel Whistling Woods International is the best thing that has happened for the 100 years of Indian cinema. We have the world's support, but we want that the government and court should be kind to us," Ghai said.
(Uma Ramasubramaniam can be contacted at email@example.com)