Naseeruddin Shah adds fuel to the controversy around Rajesh Khanna, says he never apologised
A few weeks ago, veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah sparked a controversy when he said that late superstar Rajesh Khanna brought mediocrity in Indian cinema. This comment of his earned him lots of criticism starting from Rajesh’s daughter Twinkle Khanna to lyricist Javed Akhar.
When cine buffs were just thinking that the controversy had faded, Shah has dived right in the middle of it by making a fresh statement. In a conversation with Neville Tuli on Tuesday evening, Shah said that everyone got upset with his statement on Rajesh Khanna but no one contradicted it.
“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?,”
Shah was quoted by a leading daily.
When Naseeruddin was reminded of the roles Rajesh Khanna did in movies like ‘Anand’ and ‘Aradhna’ he said that he loved these movies but not others.
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“Certainly. I am not denying that. I am talking about his contribution by and large. I loved his performance in 'Anand' and I loved his performance in 'Aradhana'. These are the two films of his which I can certainly say I like without any reservations. I don't think I liked any others,”
When Naseeruddin Shah was told about his apology he said that he issued that statement because he understands the sentiments of Rajesh Khanna’s family. When Shah had made the statement, Twinkle had lashed out at him saying that he should have atleast respect the dead.
“I apologised to his family because I can understand their feelings. I have not apologised to anybody else nor have I withdrawn that statement,”
said Naserruddin Shah.