24 June, 2021

Big B, Small C

Amitabh Bachchan does a disservice to his enormous appeal and influence when he takes the safe route and does not speak truth

Illustration by Saahil
Big B, Small C

Does Amitabh Bachchan read newspapers, watch television or surf the ­internet? Does he talk to his family members, friends or colleagues in the industry? Does he live on the same planet that the rest of India ­inhabits? It is important to ask the last question because the apparent nonchalance of the “star of the millennium” to matters concerning the current millennium is, frankly, beginning to grate on the nerve. When the world was sal­uting Muhammad Ali’s greatness beyond the boxing ring—in ­getting his hands dirty in matters social and political; in thumbing his nose at the mighty US government over the Vietnam war—Big B was artfully ducking the row over Anurag Kashyap’s Udta Punjab, suggesting as he did that “he was not aware of the ­issues” ­surrounding it. Really, Mr Bachchan? If the sound of the censor’s scissors scything through a movie in your own backyard isn’t something you are aware of, what exactly is on your mind when you start tweeting at that unearthly hour every morning?...

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