India is second only to Hollywood in world cinema. In fact, the combined Indian film production in all languages is way ahead of the total number of films produced in Hollywood. Last year India produced over 1000 films which are double of Hollywood. India is a country with secular credentials and the same is enshrined in the Constitution, though more than 80% profess the Hindu faith. The Muslim population is about 12%.

Despite an overwhelming Hindu population, the 3 top Hindi film stars are Muslims. We have Amir Khan, Shahrukh Khan, and Salman Khan as the top 3 stars on the Hindi screen. This will be a surprise to people in America. In India, however, despite an overwhelming Hindu population the top 3 stars as well as the highest paid are Muslims. 

The 3 Khans

As things stand the number one star is Salman Khan (depending upon one's choice) with the other 2 close behind.

Even among the actresses, the top star is a Muslim, Katrina Kaif, and she is not averse to wearing bikinis and revealing clothes. However, the success of Indian films has lured some English girls to India for acting as well like Amy Jackson.

All the top Muslim stars act in roles that portray Hindu characters. They are not averse to acting as heroes in Hindu mythological films and in one of his biggest hits Salman Khan acted the role of a follower of the Hindu god Hanuman in the film " Bajrangi Bhaijan."

Even before the 3 Khan's came, the reigning king of the Mumbai screen was also a Muslim (Yusuf Khan), who had adopted the screen name of Dilip Kumar.

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In the early fifties of the last century, the top heroines like Nargis, Nimmi, Meena Kumari, and Munawar Sultana were all Muslims. Mumbai remains the rival to Hollywood and is often referred to as Bollywood.

Secularism

The Indian people readily accept a star if he or she is good, irrespective of their religion. It is a wonder that at the moment no Hindu Star matches the appeal and following of these three Khan's.

The Hindi film industry is primarily located in Mumbai, which is the home of the Shiv Sena, the diehard  Hindu party, yet their effect is minimal. Muslim stars in a Hindu environment is an example of secularism.

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