This is absurd but also surreal.
The sight of an army helicopter hovering above a sailing yacht off Comino, followed by the disembarkation of 20 people onto two dinghies raised suspicions among observers that illegal immigration had taken a new twist.
The scene took place last week in the Malta-Gozo channel and had some Gozitans seeing conspiracy all over the place.
The persons handling the dinghies wore blue. Were they police officers? The people on the yacht were dark skinned. Were they migrants ferried all the way from Libya? Were the army and the police in cahoots with criminals?
Reports with such questions reached The Times but, in the end, it turned out that the whole shenanigan was no more than a scene of an Indian Bollywood love story being filmed in Malta.
Such is the sensitivity of people on the issue of illegal migration that the whole exercise was accorded a sinister twist. An army spokesman said the helicopter was providing its services to the film crew that had been in Malta for 10 days to shoot parts of a feature film about the romantic relationship of a young Indian couple.
I know the Indian disapora has assured that Indians are literally everywhere, but undocumented presence in Malta?! If it had been a Hollywood crew instead of a Bollywood one, the assumption of ‘illegality’ would not have been made.
Alas, race (read: brown) is often a proxy for ‘illegality.’