Legendary actor Naseeruddin Shah has created furore in the industry over a comment he passed over a week ago. In an interview, the veteran actor was discussing the Bollywood industry, stating that the 70’s was when mediocrity seeped into the film industry and actor Rajesh Khanna was responsible for it.
Shah called the actor ‘a poor and mediocre actor’ and blamed him for the downfall in the quality of Bollywood films.
Unsurprisingly, Shah has received extensive and unending criticism for his comments.It started when Khanna’s daughter, Twinkle Khanna, took to Twitter to defend her father. She slammed Shah for his derogatory comment, explaining to him that mediocrity lied not in her father, but in the people who attack him even after death.
Her full comment was ‘Sir if you can’t respect the living, respect the dead – mediocrity is attacking a man who can’t respond’.
She was further supported by director and friend Karan Johar who informed Shah that his comment was in bad taste and unbecoming of a fraternity member. Shah has since apologised for his comments, but people don’t seem to be letting go.
Om Puri is amongst those actors who are unwilling to let Shah forget his comments. Puri insists Shah explain how Khanna could be considered a mediocre actor, and if so who is he being compared to. Most recently, veteran lyricist Javed Akhtar made his displeasure with Shah’s comments seen. He slammed the actor for not liking successful people, using the actor’s criticisms of Dilip Kumar and Amitabh Bachan as examples.
The scene seems to be heating up for the actor despite requests by the Khanna family to let the issue go.
Akshay Kumar reportedly refused to comment on the news, saying that Shah had apologised and everyone should just accept the apology and move on. Similarly, even Twinkle requested everyone stop making the situation bigger than it is and even jokingly suggested everyone go back to playing Pokemon.
Rajesh Khanna passed away in 2012 after being critically ill for some time. The actor was nominated for Filmfare Best Actor award 14 times and won a total of 3 times. He is best known for his contribution to Indian cinema through films such as Baharon Ke Sapne, Aradhana, Haathi Mere Saathi, Amar Prem and Aap Ki Kasam.
Written by: Hiba Usmani.