Israel Embassy Unveils Street-Art Mural in Delhi, Honours Indian Jewish Actors

 Israel Embassy Unveils Street-Art Mural in Delhi, Honours Indian Jewish Actors

An Indian-Jewish street artist has painted a mural in Delhi's Connaught Place in honor of Nadira, Sulochana, and Pramila, three of the country's best-known early film stars.

For the 30th anniversary of India-Israel friendship, and to honor Indian-Jewish performers Nadira, Sulochana, and Pramila, the Israeli embassy created a street art artwork in central New Delhi on Monday.

Naor Gilon, the Israeli ambassador, and Meenakashi Lekhi, the minister of state for external affairs, inaugurated the artwork in Connaught Place.

To honor the Indian-Jewish performers who made an impact in early Indian cinema, the Israeli embassy collaborated with Delhi Street Art to design and implement a wall art project. Israel and India established full diplomatic relations in 1992, and this mural is a testament to their long-standing cultural ties.

Florence Ezekiel, better known as Nadira, was born into a Baghdadi-Jewish family and is most known for her roles in films such as Shree 420 (1955), Pakeezah (1972), and Julie (1975) throughout the 1950s and 1960s.

After starring in Aan (1952), Nadira became a household name on the silver screen. For her work in the 1975 film Julie, she was honored with the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Female Actor.

In 1947, Esther Victoria Abraham, better known as Pramila, was crowned Miss India. She was a member of Kolkata's Baghdadi-Jewish community. Ulti Ganga (1942), Basant (1942), and Jungle King (1959) are just  few of the many films in which Pramila has appeared as a stunt performer.

When she and her husband established Silver Films in 1942, she became India's first female producer. Pramila used her position in the industry to encourage other women to enter the film industry.

As Sulochana, Ruby Myers was one of the most popular and successful stars of the silent era. A Baghdadi-Jewish descendant, she saw her career take off after appearing in Veer Bala, her feature film debut (1925). At the time of her death, she had appeared in a total of eight films, ranging from  comedies to  horrors..

According to legend, she was one of the highest-paid female actors in her era and was paid more than the governor of Bombay. She was honored with the Dada Saheb Phalke Lifetime Achievement Award in 1973.

After it was unveiled, Gilon remarked that it was “Today we are revealing this mural reminding us of the work of three extraordinary actresses from the Jewish community in India, and in doing so we are also revealing another layer of the unique cultural connection between India and Israel.”

“We hope that passersby in this corner will be inspired by these characters, women from a small community who have paved a path for other women to be bold and fearless, and left a mark on what is today the largest film industry in the world, Bollywood.” He added.

India and Israel have had diplomatic relations for 30 years, and this is one of many commemorative activities.

It signifies the shared history and affection between India and Israel, as Lekhi put it:  “This project represents the shared history and friendship between India and Israel. I congratulate the people of both nations as together we celebrate 75 years of India’s independence and 30 years of our diplomatic relations.”

Yogesh Saini, the man behind Delhi Street Art, collaborated with his crew to create the artwork.

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