Russian President Dmitry Medvedev lauds Indian movies

New Delhi: A day before he visits a Bollywood studio in Mumbai, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev Tuesday lauded India`s vibrant film industry, whose movies shown 24x7 by some satellite channels in his country.

"Our country is one of the places where Indian culture is most admired. Russia and India are the only countries where satellite channels broadcast Indian movies 24x7," Medvedev said at a joint press conference with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh after their wide-ranging talks.

"Such channels only exist in India and Russia," said Medvedev, an admirer of Indian culture and films, setting the tone for his visit to Mumbai Wednesday.

The Russian president, who began his two-day visit to India Tuesday morning, pitched for greater people-to-people contacts. He hoped that a visa simplification agreement that was signed Tuesday will lead to greater networking of citizens of the two countries.

An Indian cultural festival is scheduled to be held in Russia in 2011, while a Russian cultural festival in India will take place in 2012.

Medvedev will head to Mumbai after seeing the Taj Mahal in Agra Wednesday.

In Mumbai, Medvedev is expected to go to Film City and R.K. Studios, set up by the legendary Raj Kapoor who enjoyed a sort of cult status in the erstwhile Soviet Union and which has extended to modern-day Russia.

Raj Kapoor`s masterpiece "Shree 420" and "Awara" were huge hits and the famous song `Mera Joota Hai Japani... Lal Topi Russi" is still sung in restaurants across Moscow.

IANS

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