The Indian Herald

The Indian Herald

February 3, 2010

Hero or Hypocrite: Amitabh Bachchan's 'opportunism' dents his image!

Amitabh Bachchan's admiration for Bal Thackeray at a time when Shiv Sena is playing linguistic politics and fanning hatred over the issue of migrants to Mumbai, seems to have severely dented the star's image.

When Thackeray's party threatens Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan and warns talkies owners against screening the movie 'My Name is Khan', Bachchan goes ga ga over the fact that Uddhav Thackeray has seen his movie, Rann, and claims that Bal Thackeray wants a special show of the film arranged for him.

But Bachchan hasn't become a fallen hero overnight. Bachchan hails from Allahabad in UP, and despite numerous attacks on youths from North India, never uttered a word against the attacks. Shiv Sena, a right-wing party, remains opposed to North Indians, especially people from UP and Bihar.

Though Sachin Tendulkar, a Maharashtrian, said that he was an Indian first and Marathi later and even said that Mumbai was for all Indians, Amitabh Bachchan has never uttered a word.

Bachchan has also received flak for becoming a brand ambassador for Gujarat and praising Narendra Modi despite the fact that thousands were killed in Gujarat during the worst communal carnage in the year 2002 when the BJP was in power.

Interestingly, the former superstar sees no contradiction in his actions. On one hand his family cosied up with Samajwadi Party and his wife Jaya remains in Rajya Sabha, or even praising Uttar Pradesh government for its law-and-order when Mulayam Singh was at the helm.

The controversy over migrants' arrival in Mumbai has again shown Bachchan in poor light. Whenever he needs to promote his film or get a tax waiver for movie, he finds nothing wrong in cosying up with anybody--from Mulayam to Modi.

In fact, Amitabhs's lack of conviction on any of the issues has been a big letdown for his fans. Though he has earned fame for acting in Hindi movies, he has never dared to utter a word for Hindi speakers in Maharashtra.

While he sounded surprised when some sections demanded screening of Prakash Jha's film Aarakshan for its anti-Dalit references and termed it unacceptable, he conveniently forgot that when Sarkar Raj was about to be released, Bachchan had shown the movie to Bal Thackeray to get the latter's approval.

One may dislike it but Bachchan has no qualms in submitting himself to anybody for sake of personal benefits. Bal Thackeray's role in Mumbai riots and his indictment in Justice BN Sri Krishna Commission report or later the ignominous disenfranchisement are commonly known but Bachchan flaunts his relationship with Thackeray.

The angry man who had inspired generations, has failed to live up to the expectations of millions of fans. Far from being a statesman, he hasn't been able to speak up like a prominent citizen.

He may quote his father, late Harivansh Rai Bachchan's poems, but the fact is that Amitabh has failed not only his fans but also himself. It's time the legendary star did some serious introspection.

TIH Bureau

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