On the evening of Nov. 26, the biggest names in Bollywood walked the red carpet at the Bombay premiere of "The President Is Coming," a comedy about six 20-somethings vying to win the right to shake hands with President Bush.
Among those in attendance at the star-studded premiere Wednesday evening was Bollywood's "new heartthrob" Imran Khan, who proudly posed for paparazzi donning a T-shirt with Mr. Bush's face sandwiched between the words "International Terrorist."
(Because if he wore a t-shirt with Bin Laden on it and the same label, he'd be dead by now - TM251)
Mr. Khan - a member of India's Muslim minority - chose not to mock international terrorists who kill in the name of Allah. He and his co-religionists know the deadly results for those who do.
At the precise moment Mr. Khan and hundreds of others making their fortunes in the multibillion-dollar Indian movie business were watching "The President Is Coming," only a few blocks away, 10 20-something Muslim extremists began a horrific three-day terror spree.
Azam Amir Kasab, the sole surviving terrorist, told his saviors, "I was told to kill to my last breath." The 21-year-old Pakistani stated that the group's goal was to kill 5,000 people. Overall, at least 174 people died and more than 300 were injured.
Mr. Khan might have been spared only because Kasab and his cohorts failed to reach their death quota. His fellow Bollywood actor Ashish Chaudhary wasn't so lucky. His sister and her husband were killed by indiscriminate gunfire sprayed into Tiffin restaurant at the Oberoi-Trident hotel.
"It's shocking, really shocking. I still can't believe that my dear sister and brother-in-law are now no more. I am completely shattered," Mr. Chaudhary said.
The terror attack has hit Bollywood hard. The opening of "The President Is Coming" has been postponed and India's film capital is in a state of shock.
And, like their Hollywood counterparts, the Bollywood thespians appear predisposed to blame everyone but the culprit.
"My pain has been the sight and plight of my innocent and vulnerable and completely insecure countrymen, facing the wrath of this terror attack," action star Amitabh Bachchan wrote on his blog. "And my anger has been at the ineptitude of the authorities that have been ordained to look after us."
Mr. Khan's uncle Aamir Khan, another prominent Bollywood actor, director and film producer, also sought to redirect responsibility for the monstrous violence.
"I dread to think of how various political parties are now going to try and use this tragedy to further their political careers. At least now they should learn to not divide people and instead become responsible leaders," the elder Mr. Khan blogged. "When will these politicians realize and admit that terrorists have no religion. Terrorists are not Hindu or Muslim or Christian. They are not people of religion or God. They are people who have gone totally sick in their head and have to be dealt with in that manner."
Ironically, the Bollywood crowd is in the minority in India, where a majority approve of the U.S. behavior and more people like Mr. Bush than don't. Indians lean 45 percent to 34 percent in favor of Mr. Bush, according to a Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) poll taken earlier this year.
"I think, if you look at the public opinion polls, the ratings for President Bush are higher in India than in any other country. That is the factual basis," Indian Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon explained.
That was true, too, in the U.S. until the American media's relentless propaganda against Mr. Bush finally took hold and took its toll. The real question is when the people who make the world's most popular form of entertainment finally accept the truth: that the Islamist threat is real, growing and won't go away when George W. Bush leaves the White House in January.