Posted on October 11, 2017 By newsroom
The mid 70s was the age of angry young men in India. JP led angry young students and others against Indira Gandhi's authoritarian ways. Amitabh Bachhan became the 'angry man'...of the movies, via films like ‘Zanjeer’, Sholay, Deewar...
Cut to 2017. The student leaders of the 70s have become power-hungry and conniving leaders, more willing to stay in power than bringing real social change in our country - Lalu, Ramvilaas, Jaitley...and Nitish. They became the same kind of leaders they struggled against.
Amitabh Bachhan, who will turn 75, has monetized his 70s fame for almost 40 years. He has appeared in 100+ movies since 2000. He didn't make 100 movies in the 30+ years of the last century! Basically, he plays himself in all these movies.
Then there are the ads. He appears in one ad after another, including the 'Gujarat' ads, which were a big factor in bringing Modi and his Gujarat to the Indian mainstream, in some way. He is the face of many government campaigns.
He sure likes the money making aspect of the creative arts. Compare him to Dilip Kumar, who gracefully retired when he was much younger than what Amitabh is today.
When I say Amitabh Bachchan has failed us, I am saying that as someone who is a fan of his work in 70s. He is part of my father's generation.
I know it is isn't an actor's job to bring revolution.
But in India, where actors become politicians, and politicians are always actors, was I being too optimistic to be asking a beloved actor to at least be an inspiration, if they were not 'into politics'?
Amitabh has shown he is not 'not into politics'. Barring the 84 elections, Amitabh has kept away from politics, but has never shied away from making political friends (Mulayam, Amar Singh...). His wife is in the Rajya Sabha. His name came up in the Panama papers leak, which he has denied. Disputed land deals (with possible political help) happened too.
The only thing that this 70s hero did right for India was to appear in Kaun Banega Karorepati and teach Indians what a respectful way of talking is like. Another matter that respect and hypocrisy are an old Indian curse.
Happy birthday, Amitabh.