Naseeruddin Shah flares the Rajesh Khanna controversy again
Once again, Naseeruddin Shah has struck back with a fitting reply to his detractors over the Rajesh Khanna controversy. It all started with Mr Shah’s comment on the late superstar Rajesh Khanna, calling him “a poor actor”. This comment wasn’t taken lightly by daughter Twinkle Khanna, yesteryear actress and wife of Rajesh Khanna, Dimple Kapadia. In fact, Shah even apologized for his remark to Twinkle.
But now, it looks like he isn’t ready to leave the incident behind. Recently, at a master class organized by Neville Tuli at Liberty Cinema, the ‘A Wednesday’ actor spoke about Late Rajesh Khanna.
“The start of plagiarism in Hindi movies began in the early 70’s – the mediocrity in music, script writing, story telling, acting everything. Who were the popular stars of the 70’s apart from Mr. Khanna? Joy Mukherjee, Biswajeet Chatterjee. Does anybody remember these gentlemen? They were very big stars. There was also Jeetendra. The trinity of Dev Anand, Raj Kapoor and Dilip Kumar was on the wane. The film industry needed a new icon and Rajesh Khanna filled that role. The fact is the industry created him, used him and cast him away when he was no longer a money-minting machine.”
The actor further added, “Everybody who has got upset with what I said, none of them has contradicted what I said. They all said, ‘How can you say a thing like this. Have some respect for the dead.’ What respect did the film industry have for Rajesh Khanna when he was alive is my question. He had thousands of people outside his bungalow. Does that make him a great actor? So anybody who has thousands of people outside his bungalow is a great actor is that what you are trying to say. If you speak your mind, there is nothing wrong with it. I suppose one should be at times a little diplomatic that is what I have been told. But I don’t see the merit in that. I think one should say what one feels and if you have ended up offending somebody then that is just too bad.”
As far as the apology was concerned, here’s what he had to say, “I apologised to his family because I can understand their feelings. I have not apologised to anybody else nor have I withdrawn that statement.”