MUMBAI – After getting slammed by twitteratis, veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah was compelled to apologize for his remark about Rajesh Khanna.
Defending himself, however, the actor said that his intention was only to talk about a certain kind of Hindi Cinema.
In a recent interview, Shah had said that the 70’s was the time when mediocrity had entered Hindi cinema and also when Rajesh Khanna joined the industry, who according to him was a “poor doer”.
“I apologize to those who were personally offended. My intention was not to attack him.”
Shah’s offending statement, which was made during a recent interview with Hindustan Times, is reproduced below:
“Nothing has changed in Bollywood. It is the same as it was 50 years ago. The photography and editing is better but the subjects are as puerile as they were in the 70’s. In fact, it was the 70’s when mediocrity came in Hindi films. That’s when the actor called Rajesh Khanna joined the industry.
For all his success, I think Mr Khanna was a very limited actor. In fact, he was a poor actor. Intellectually, he wasn’t the most alert person I have ever met. His taste ruled the industry.
The quality of script, acting, music and lyrics deteriorated. Colour came in. You could make a heroine wear a purple dress and hero a red shirt, go to Kashmir and make a movie. You didn’t need a story. This trend continued and I certainly think Mr Khanna had something to do with it because he was God in those days.”
Rajesh Khanna, who was Bollywood’s first superstar, died of cancer in July 2012 at the age of 69.
He won three Filmfare Best Actor Awards and was awarded the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005.