Bollywood Star and Humanitarian to Speak at Cal Poly Pomona Nov. 28

Bollywood Star and Humanitarian to Speak at Cal Poly Pomona Nov. 28
Bollywood star and humanitarian Shabana Azmi will speak at the Bronco Student Center on Nov. 28.

Shabana Azmi is an award-winning movie star with more than 140 movies in her native India. However, to her fans, Azmi has another significant role: as an activist addressing human rights, communal harmony and social justice.

The acclaimed Bollywood star and humanitarian will discuss “Films, Politics and Social Justice” on Tuesday, Nov. 28, from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., in the Bronco Student Center's Ursa Major.

“People will walk away from the program inspired by Shabana Azmi's activism,” says Tara Sethia, director of the Ahimsa Center, which is hosting the dialogue. “In spite of the fact she is such a big celebrity, she has shown exemplary compassion and humility to work toward the causes of the underserved, deprived and the poor.”

Azmi has won an unrivaled five National Film Awards for Best Actress for roles in Ankur, Arth, Khandhar, Paar, and Godmother. She took home the Filmfare Best Actress award four times, and in 2005 earned the distinguished Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award.

Aside from her work in film, Azmi has dedicated herself to assisting slum dwellers in Mumbai, marching for communal harmony, fundraising for victims of the Latur earthquake, as well as fighting AIDS. Her activism has also garnered accolades including the 2006 International Gandhi Peace Prize in the United Kingdom, the 2006 Crystal Award at the Davos World Economic Forum and the 2000 Martin Luther King Award from the state of Michigan.

The event will start with the short documentary Shabana, which provides background on Azmi's work in films and politics. A discussion and question and answer session will follow.

The Ahimsa Center dialogues feature scholars and practitioners of ahimsa, an eastern philosophy of nonviolence rooted in courage and compassion, fearlessness and forgiveness.

The event is cosponsored by the Ahimsa Center, ASI B.E.A.T., the Distinguished Lecture Series, the Office of Student Life and Cultural Centers, the History Department, Student Health Services and partial support from NOW and Women's Herstory Month.

Tickets are $20, and available online at However, students, faculty and staff are eligible for discounted $5 tickets. For more information, contact Ahimsa Center director Tara Sethia at (909) 869-3868 or