Estranged friend of the Bachchans, Amar Singh recently create tremors when he said all was not well between Amitabh and Jaya Bachchan. And, now Big B’s better-half has taken on those forces which resisted the shooting of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavati. According to PTI, Jaya, raised the subject in the Rajya Sabha during the Zero Hour and went on to say, “Intolerance is growing in the country and a “select few” assume that they represent the masses, “under certain political patronage”, and take law and order in their hands. They have no respect for constitutional values or the law of the land.”
With her statement, the veteran actress joins Aamir Khan and Shah Rukh Khan who too expressed their dismay at the growing incidence of intolerance in the country. Now, there is another angle to it. Jaya’s husband and megastar Amitabh Bachchan has been the Brand Ambassador of Gujarat Tourism ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He also endorses Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan. By taking up the cudgels against a body called Rajput Karni Sena in Rajasthan, a state under the BJP, Mrs. Big B, a Samajwadi Party MP, has aired her grievances against extreme groups and in this context, a staunch Hindu group called the Rajput Karni Sena. “Sometime they are threatened, sometime films are not allowed be screened, sets are vandalised and sometimes it takes a violent turn as it happened in Jaipur recently.”…Sets of Padmavati, where Rajput Karni Sena not only physically assaulted the Director, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, but also damaged the expensive film equipments,” she said in the Upper House adding, “What message are we sending to the film fraternity which is one of the most important and vibrant ambassador of the country. Creativity should not be subjected to such treatment,” she said.
Let’s not get into the so-called tensions between the Bachchans. It’s their personal matter. But with Jayaji openly questioning assault on creativity, can the Shahenshah too speak up and be more candid on his views on the ‘ills’ affecting the country? Or should he stick to his age-old stance of self-restraint on delicate matters, issues on which he should be frank enough? Because his views would matter.