Bollywood 'squad' meets Modi to discuss 'nation building'

New Delhi, Jan 10 (IANS) A delegation of young Hindi film actors Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt, and filmmakers Karan Johar, Rohit Shetty and Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari met Prime Minister Narendra Modi here on Thursday to discuss how the entertainment industry can contribute to nation building.

The 'Prime Minister's Squad' -- as Shetty put it -- also included Ekta Kapoor, Ranbir Kapoor, Varun Dhawan, Sidharth Malhotra, Ayushmann Khurrana, Rajkummar Rao, Vicky Kaushal and Bhumi Pednekar.

Karan called the meeting an "incredible opportunity".

"As a community, there is a huge interest to contribute to nation building. There is so much that we want to do, and can do. This dialogue was towards how and in what ways we can do that...

"Together we would love to inspire and ignite positive changes to a transformative India," Karan wrote on Instagram alongside a squad selfie with Modi.

Karan thanked the government on behalf of the film industry for the GST reduction in movie ticket prices that was implemented recently.

Movie tickets costing more that Rs 100 were brought down from 28 to 18 per cent -- a move that was hailed by the industry.

It was a result of two meetings held with the PM last year.

While their past meetings drew ire for zero women representation, this time Alia, Ekta, Ashwiny and Bhumi lent the woman power.

Tiwari, who directed "Nil Battey Sannata", said in a statement: "It was an honour meeting our honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji with inspiring lovely friends. An interaction that takes storytelling to new heights... Building a better society through entertainment. Thank you for the GST reduction and space to connect thoughts."

Bhumi tweeted: "Thank you for your time honourable Modi sir. Truly a moment to be remembered."

Ranveer was all smiles as he posed while hugging Modi.

"Jaadoo ki Jhappi! Joy to meet the Honourable Prime Minister of our great nation," tweeted the 'Padmaavat' star.

Rajkummar said it was an "insightful meeting", while 'Uri' actor Vicky was "happy and honoured" to meet the PM and Sidharth wrote: "Thank you Narendra Modi sir for an enriching and insightful conversation. It was an honour to meet you today and we are grateful for your support towards the film industry."