Bollywood actor Manoj Bajpai to pen column for

MUMBAI: In Zinta's footstep or so it seems. After roping in one of the leading ladies of Indian Cinema Preity Zinta to write a column for the English online site, the global news service has got Bollywood actor Manoj Bajpai on board to write for a weekly column exclusively for BBC Hindi service's online site,

My experiments with the celluloid - Manoj Bajpai

Besides Manoj Bajpai, distinguished Pakistani journalist and commentator Ahmed Rashid, renowned economist Kaushik Basu and leading sports writer Rohit Brijnath will join Preity Zinta in writing for BBC News Online South Asia.

Bajpai, unlike the traditional Hindi film actors, isn't associated with the glamour. With his interesting career graph, Bajpai is often labeled as the "thinking actor". He is also known for his candid and informed views on issues related to cinema and society. Bajpai's weekly column will tackle a variety of subjects - but primarily cinema, says a company release.

Say Bajpai, "It is a great pleasure to be associated with the BBC which has been part of our family life since my childhood. My father and uncle used to spend their evenings listening to BBC Hindi radio, and now I'll be writing for it, not only as an actor but also as a person, talking about my feelings and my struggle. I am looking forward to it, it will be a great fun."

According to the release, gets around one million page impressions every month, and the figure is growing.

"Manoj Bajpai's comments already published on have proven very popular with visitors to the site, many of them Indian expatriates who follow Bollywood keenly. Our audiences will be pleased to know that more celebrities from different fields will be writing exclusive columns for us in the future," says editor Salma Zaidi.

While Bajpai's column will focus on Cinema, Rashid's column will be focus on political and security issues in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Kaushik Basu' s columns, who is a professor of Internanional Studies and Economics at Cornell University in the United States, will focus on economic issues.

Known for his breezy writing style and frank views, the sports writer Rohit Brijnath will be writing on sports and sporting personalities in the subcontinent.

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