Central Asia is best place to host centenary of Indian cinema next year - The Times of India CHANDIGARH: Don't be surprised that centenary of India cinema next year is celebrated in Tajikistan or some Central Asian country, if the popularity of Indian cinema were a measure. "As many as 600 Indian films are dubbed in Tajik language every year, which is close to Persian," professor Umarow khojammakhmad from Dushanbe-based Institute of Economy and Demography Academy of Sciences told The Times of India in an exclusive interview during a recent seminar on connecting South and Central Asia here. So much of dubbing is possible as the Tajikistan University has very strong Hindi and Urdu departments since the Soviet Union era, he said. He said you go to any hotel in Central Asia only to find that Zoom channel is beaming Indian films. Indian films beat Hollywood, Russian and Chinese films hands down. Kapoor's - Raj Kapoor to Kareena Kapoor - are considered their own as they belonged to Peshawar. The Khans of Indian cinema are equally popular. There is so much of impact of Indian music that Tajik music will appear just Indian to any Indian. Indian tunes are being copied in mass for Tajik music. Surprisingly, Chinese films are not doing as well as Indian ones do despite the fact China which shares 750 km long border with the country, is the biggest trade partner of Tajikistan. China has already constructed roads and rail lines deep inside the country while India is struggling to get an access to the country through Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan for translating this cultural goodwill into a trade opportunity. Tajik's feel China had flooded their market ignoring anti-dumping norms and Indian entry into the market can bring a balance in favour of the consumer and local producers. They are afraid of Walmart experiment saying Americans also exploited Central Asians immediately after collapse of Soviet Union. The academician said if single lorry (one lorry going through all countries) leaves Amritsar in the morning, it will reach Dushanbe the next morning. But, Afghanistan and Pakistan are still not allowing transit route. If that route is allowed, Tajikistan can send 75 varieties of grapes to India and dry fruits. Tajikistan is rich in mineral and hydrocarbons but facing a problem of Islamic forces backed by Saudi Arabia to Islamise the country, said the academician. Saudi Arabia is trying to control hydrocarbon market of Central Asia as their oil reserves are on the verge of depletion. This is why Saudi Arabia is using Pakistan as an agent to control Afghanistan through Taliban to have a say in Central Asian affairs. Qatar has donated 300 million dollars to build a mosque which can accommodate 1.57,000 people despite the main Islamic party of the country opposing it and saying this money should be spent for improving the education infrastructure of the country. They want to import high technology solutions from India apart from education and climate change collaborations. They also want to emulate the Indian economic model of a mix of planned and market economy rejecting the Chinese model.