Bollywood lost a gem a couple of days back, rest in peace Shashi Kapoor, and in wake of the new, we saw several actors come across offering their condolences and well-wishes for the family.
While browsing through it all, I came across the blog post by Amitabh Bachchan reminiscing about some of his memories with Shashi Kapoor. Although extremely well written, it was quite surprising that Mr. Bachchan would make something like that so public, instead of keeping the sanctity of those memories by keeping them private.
Now, don’t get me wrong, but this seems to be a pretty frequent thing that I have seen the senior Bachchan do, wherein any big thing that happens is most of the times broadcasted out in the public.
While, that is not a bad thing and I would never fault him for including his fans and audience into what he is doing and sharing his thoughts and opinions, just as long as he had backed it up with actions even after the hype around a particular subject was gone.
In his blog, he mentioned that he only visited Kapoor once in the hospital, but never went again, even when he passed away because he did not want to see his idol in that condition.
Hmm… seems a bit convenient that just when a few media houses were commenting on how Bachchan did not visit Kapoor in hospital, the former came out with a heartfelt and nostalgic blog with a line very well fitted in-between that justified his absence.
The Blog Was Not The Problem, It Was The Public Nature Of It
To me, the blog was not really the problem, but what would have truly made his intentions genuine is if he had perhaps sent a hand-written letter to Shashi Kapoor’s family, or kept it private for a little while, before putting it out for the world to read.
That would have been a more respectful way to handle it and would not seem like just a creative way to clear up any allegations against him.
Even before this, during the release of Pink, he brought out this video and online copy of his letters to his granddaughters, about how to be strong and independent women.
At the time I was impressed by his actions as publicly doing something like this would perhaps even urge his fans and audience to adopt the same mentality.
However, it was a bit shocking when the Modi and Priyanka Chopra controversy came and she was bashed for wearing a ‘short dress’ and Mr. Bachchan had nothing to say to defend a colleague from the same industry.
Shashi Kapoor Not The First Victim
If I start to count, then it would be revealed that Kapoor is not the first one done wrong by Mr. Bachchan. There is a long list of people who feel they have been wronged by him and it is not always jealousy or ill-will against him.
Take for example the recent comment at an event that Dharmendra made when the discussion moved towards the casting and how Amitabh Bachchan was cast when recommended by Dharmendra himself:
“Amitabh says NOW that I recommended him. If he is saying that from where he is now, from such a dizzying height, people will talk about his greatness. He never said earlier that I had recommended him. So now when he says it, people will say he is great, not I.”
Dharmendra was one of the top actors when Bachchan was still climbing up the ladder in the industry and one with whom the latter did a lot of films.
Somewhere along the way though, Bachchan got ahead in the race while Dharmendra got left behind.
Then we can name Parveen Babi, Shatrughan Sinha, Rekha, the Gandhis and more.
Of course, when naming people that Bachchan could have allegedly used would be Amar Singh, once a very close family friend of the Bachchans and now a stranger at best and enemy at worst.
Amar Singh had been an old friend of the Bachchans being mid-80s and one of the few people that really helped the Bachchan family during a financial crisis because of the failure of ABCL that almost lead the popular actor and his family into bankruptcy.
However, when Singh was eventually let gone off from Samajwadi Party owing to differences with Mulayam Singh, where he expected support from Jaya and Amitabh Bachchan, unfortunately, he was given none.
What Has He Done For Others?
I am nowhere discrediting or insulting Mr. Bachchan, he truly is a legend, someone who has worked hard and tirelessly and made a name for himself in the Bollywood industry.
But the ‘God’ or ‘bhagwan’ type of image that is given to him is not the most accurate according to me. I have been thinking, what exactly has he done for others, without making it a public spectacle or announcement.
The kind of privileges that he has, what exactly has he done for those who are struggling to make ends meet. We hardly ever hear about his charities or social work that he does.
Alright, let us forget charity and all and just focus on whether Amitabh Bachchan has even helped anyone within the industry itself. The answer would a big NO. Where Salman Khan is practically the father of half of the Bollywood entrants, Amir Khan is a close second and even SRK has used his standing as an A-list actor to help newcomers. However, apart from his own son, where exactly has senior AB really helped out or launched a newcomer?
And even when we did find his name in the Panama papers, still people did not take him down from their pedestal.
I completely understand that in such a competitive industry you have to be selfish, you have to think first about yourself because otherwise you’d just get trodden upon by others and left with nothing.
So to a certain extent, I understand and even admire Mr. Bachchan tenacious and selfish attitude that has allowed him to reach the heights he is on now.
However, too much of over-competitiveness is also not good and especially when you know fairly well that nothing you do will be hidden for long.
Image Credits: Google Images