Bollywood controversy

Whom do you prefer, Naseeruddin Shah or Rajesh Khanna?

The acting thespian gets criticised for describing the 1970s superstar as a ‘limited actor’.

Did Naseeruddin Shah echo the thoughts of several moviegoers when he declared that 1970s superstar Rajesh Khanna was an overrated actor? Or was he being disrespectful to a matinee idol who gave Hindi cinema some of its biggest successes and appeared in some of the most important movies in the decade?

In an interview with the Hindustan Times newspaper, the famously outspoken thespian named Khanna as being responsible for what he called the onset of mediocrity in Hindi cinema in the 1970s. “That’s when the actor called Rajesh Khanna joined the industry,” Shah said. “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.”

Shah has been forced to apologise for what is an unflattering but honest assessment of another member of his profession. Rajesh Khanna’s daughter Twinkle, the former actress, interior designer, and popular columnist, has vented her anger against Shah on Twitter, and she got some support from Karan Johar, A-list producer and recent advocate of the live-and-let-live principle.

The polite yet firm reaction has forced Shah to roll back on his statement and declare he did not intend to attack Khanna. Whatever the merit of Shah’s views, the fact remains that no criticism or measured critique of popular actors is welcomed any more, especially of the ones who have died. And the Hindi film industry’s unfailing ability to equate financial clout with talent remains befuddling.

Khanna shot to fame in the late ’60s and’70s with a series of hits that remain landmarks in popular cinema. “The youth needed a new icon they could relate to. Someone who spoke their language and brought the energy and appeal of youth and yet reflected traditional value systems,” writes Yasser Usman in his biography Rajesh Khanna The Untold Story of India’s First Superstar. “An icon who could pave the way for new fashion statements, show the youth a fresh perspective on life and love and cater to their fantasies. Every era has seen the youth searching for such new fantasies and new icons. By the end of 1969, in Hindi cinema, one such fantasy was about to turn into a reality. The void for a fresh icon was ready to be filled.”

Even as Khanna was shimmying to the top, Shah was stacking up good reviews in relatively lesser-known but equally important realist films of the decade, such as Nishant and Bhumika. Our Scroll.in video provides a quick rundown of their contrasting acting styles, whether they are playing blind characters or playing the fool.

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Now that you’ve reached the top, how often do you say, “Thank You”?

What kind of a leader are you?

How do you define success? The typical picture of success is a large bank balance, expensive material possessions and fame. But for some, success is happiness that comes from fulfilling a childhood dream or attaining a sense of purpose. For those, success is not about the volume of an applause or the weight of a gold medal, but about showing gratitude and sharing success with the people without whom the journey would be incomplete. Here are a few ways you can share your success with others:

Speech

While it sounds simple and formulaic, a genuine, emphatic and honest speech can make everyone feel like they are a part of a winning team. For a personal touch, acknowledge the team’s efforts by mentioning each one of them by name and thanking them for their unique contributions. Hearing their own name makes people feel proud and honoured.

Realise the success should be passed on

Instead of basking in the glory of their own achievements, good leaders encourage, motivate and inspire others to achieve success. A good leader should acknowledge his own mistakes, share his experience and knowledge and cultivate an environment where every milestone is an accomplishment for everyone in the team. Talk about challenges, the personal and professional struggles that you had to overcome. Sharing setbacks helps others to relate to you and helps them overcome struggles they may be facing.

Celebrate

Nothing beats shaking-off the deadlines, work-pressure and fatigue by celebrating success together. Enjoying a job well done together as a team brings about a spirit of camaraderie. A catered lunch, evening drinks or a weekend off-site, the important thing is to enjoy the win with people who have gone through the same struggle.

Keep it flexible

The last thing you want is for work celebrations to become monotonous and repetitive. Not all milestones have to be celebrated in a grand manner, some can just be acknowledged with gestures such as personal Thank You notes or writing a recommendation on LinkedIn.

Make success more meaningful

Go beyond numbers, sales targets and profits and add meaning to the achievement. Reminding everyone of the larger purpose inspires people. It’s easy to lose interest when you do something in a routine fashion. Giving a larger meaning to success makes people feel more involved and energized.

Great leaders are those who share their victories with others. They acknowledge that the path to success is collaborative. Great leaders don’t stand in front of their team, but are found working amongst them. This video is an ode to such leaders who epitomise the Chivas culture and know how to Win The Right Way. Follow Chivas on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Play

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Chivas Studio Music CDs and not by the Scroll editorial team.