Thursday, 25 June 2009

Amitabh Bacchan - A Liar?

Did Amitabh Lie? Seems to be an interesting question. Amitabh Bacchan, soul of Indian cinema in 70s and biggest Indian superstar of all time lied. He did. When and how ? Answer to former lies not on a date , but in a span of years and the very same years explain how .

In his movies released in 70s he epitomized the image of an average angry Indian youth. Most of his movies hovered around that theme. But later he became banal, too trite and repetitive. Changing India could no longer associate itself with his old image, result , he was out of scene for several years. What did he do then? He Changed his image and changed his theme and came in a new Avatar. An Amitabh, who had adapted to modern times. Now his image was more of a daring actor who didn't fear experimenting with roles. He did bold and unconventional movies like Black, Nishabd,Cheeni Kum, Aks and so on. If someone asks me today , what is the image that he dons, I cant tell , he is so eclectic now.

Well, that was his career graph, when did he lie? Answer to that is throughout. An artist, is a person who champions his beliefs through his skills. Its not expected of them to pander to conflicting ideas, so as bring forth a confused message. They can not be effective if they themselves do not endorse their beliefs. It is in this context of art that he lied and not only him, most of the commercial actors did the same. Their purpose wasn't art , it was fame and money. Would you endorse him as the greatest artist to our posterity? Never . He never had a message, all that he was doing was pandering to greater mass a debased form of art.

I chose Amitabh's name for this article , since he is the most known artist to me. But it is true for ever other such actors. They are not artists, they are only commercial baniyas.
In artistic terms , an actor is one who enacts a scene, he gives a visual treat to an idea, however, this doesn't mean he is separate from it. Both an actor and act are one. They are not dual. Any artist understands that.

I wondered next, why if I know now that he is not an artist would I look out for him to be entertained. Why do I want to see the zero figure of lascivious Kareena ( another artist ostensibly), or fight stunts of Akshay or any such "non-artistic" stuff? And I found the answer to that. Such stuff is only entertainment ,not art, where latter encompasses former, while former is devoid of latter. Entertainment panders to sense, art caters to our soul and grows us. Former lacks rationality , while latter is the base of rationality.

When this idea dawned on me, I was awestruck. How much have they debased art and mutilated the concept of an artist? I may have been bit harsh on Amitabh here, but I know that he seconds my opinion, when he refers to his father, Harivansh Rai Bacchan, as an artist of true nature and not himself. He has always been humble enough to recognize that truth. I can recall once Harivansh Rai remarked on his son's popularity in comparison to his own."To know me you have to be a graduate in Hindi literature, whereas to know him you have to be nobody".

I might have been too harsh on Amitabh here, but his was the best case I could have used (as I had been his ardent fan) to bring out the truth. So next time you get to hear that Sharukh is an artist or for that matter some bollywood actor/actresses being awarded doctorate in Art, you know what to replace the word art with. Entertainers , always; Artists , never.