By Subhash K Jha
MUMBAI: This week there was a lot of speculation over the Big B Amitabh Bachchan’s supposed patch-up with Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray.
The Big B and Thackeray apparently had a fall-out after the latter accused the mega-star of becoming the “brand ambassador” of Uttar Pradesh. In a later incident when Jaya Bachchan at a music function had expressed her comfort level with the Hindi language instead of Marathi, Thackeray had made scathing comments on her linguistic preference.
Now five years later the Big B and Raj Thackeray came together for a function to commemorate seven years of the Maharashtra Navnirman Chitrapat Karmachari Sena (MNCKS) at the Shanmukhanand Hall in Central Mumbai.
Speaking on the supposed rapprochement, the Big B said, “I attended a function that paid respects to the hitherto-neglected faces of the film industry – the workers ! Very little is ever known about them. The world never sees them or is aware of their contribution. They work tirelessly behind the scenes and are responsible in equal measure for the final outcome of any of our products.”
The Big B welcomes any effort to better the financial conditions of the film industry’s work force.
“In a profession as fickle as ours, the security that these workers need for their future is something that requires attention. Many efforts have been made in the past by both institutes and individuals. Any design to take greater care for them is always welcome. The MNCKS has put together an instrument of insurance to these workers. Such a noble cause shall always have my endorsement !”
There is much reason to rejoice in the Bachchan household as son Abhishek’s film Dhoom 3 has become a record-breaking success.
Speaking on the success, the Big B says, “Dhoom 3, as we talk, is fast becoming the biggest grosser of all times. This bodes well for the makers and those involved in the film, as also the industry. I am happy that Abhishek has been involved in two back-to-back successes, or to put it more succinctly, in the now-recognized yardstick for a hit film the 100 crore club. For Dhoom 3, the collections would be more than the 100 crore!.”
The proud father raves over Dhoom 3. “The film and its presentation are spellbinding. It strengthens our belief that the talent in our industry is comparable to the best there is in the world. I would wish for it to continue to grow !!”
The year 2013 has been as eventful for the Big B as any of his previous years. This year he took the plunge into fiction on television.
Describing the experience he says, “TV serials are as exacting as any other entertainment profession, difficult, full of apprehension and the joy of getting an opportunity to be involved in another aspect of this beautiful vocation. I am no different from any other. My involvement is that of an artist. I follow what the captain of the ship, the director, desires !”
The country went through tremendous turmoil during the year. Post-Nirbhaya violence against women was an issue that was deep-focused. Then the judiciary was under scrutiny after a Supreme Court judge was accused by an intern of sexual harassment. Finally the media came under the scanner after the Tarun Tejpal incident.
Reflecting on these, the Big B says, “All the incidents you mention have one common thread, atrocities and unwanted behaviour towards women ! The indignities that women had to and continue to bear, were highlighted, and perhaps after a very long time the common man/woman, without any political intent or provocation, took to the streets to express their anguish. People bore the brunt of intense police action and succeeded in convincing the powers to recognize the morass that plagued us as a society forcing the authorities to take immediate and corrective action. In a healthy and liberal democratic governance, these are pertinent signs.”
As the year draws to a close the Big B Amitabh Bachchan sighs, “Another year gone by …And another to follow …then another …then another …and another .”