By Rishabh Naudiyal Last Updated:
Born on October 11, 1942, as Amitabh Srivastava to his father, Harivansh Rai Bachchan, who was a legendary Hindi poet of his time and social-activist-mother, Teji Bachchan, the young man was destined to be as great as his parents. The young Amitabh had completed his higher education at Kirori Mal College, University of Delhi. After which, his father took him to Prithviraj Kapoor to inquire if there was any suitable work for him there. But the latter had offered only encouragement and no role. However, the rejection hadn't affected Amitabh's spirit a bit, and in 1969, he had made his acting debut with the film, Saat Hindustani, and the rest is history.
Amitabh Bachchan is an ideal man, a perfect father, a philosopher, and a complete family man. The iconic actor continues to inspire generations and motivates young actors to reach new heights through his work over the decades. Over the years, Amitabh has been awarded many prestigious awards for his immense contribution to Indian cinema and television. However, even a man of his stature had some controversies to his name, so without further ado, let's take a deep-detailed look into it!
In 2011, former Femina Miss India World Sayani Bhagat had shocked the entire film industry after she had accused Amitabh Bachchan, Shiney Ahuja, and Sajid Khan of sexual harassment. Soon, Big B had filed a police complaint against Sayani's severe accusations on him in public, after which it was revealed that Sayani had been a victim of cybercrime. Although, after the investigation, Sayani had clarified everything and had issued a statement in the media that could be read as:
"I have exchanged mails with him (Amitabh), and he understands that some third party is involved. He took it to the police from his side as well. He has filed another complaint. I even spoke to some other actors, and they all understand that I have been victimised."
Amitabh Bachchan and the late legendary actor, Kader Khan, had worked in multiple hit films and are still regarded as one of the most successful on-screen duos in the Hindi film industry. Apart from their on-screen jodi, the two had shared a beautiful bond in real life too, but soon, Amitabh had started climbing new stairs of fame and success, which not only made him a bit arrogant but also quite self-centred. Once in an interview with a news portal, Kader Khan had revealed the whole story behind the end of his beautiful and real friendship with Amitabh.
The iconic actor had said:
"I used to refer to him as Amit. One day, a producer from the South film industry asked me, 'Aap Sir ji ko mila?.' I asked him, 'Kaun Sir ji?' He said, 'Aapko Sir ji nahin maalum? That tall man', and I saw him pointing at Amitabh Bachchan. I said woh toh Amit hai, Sir ji kabse ho gaye? He said, 'We will call him Sirji from now on'. And everybody actually started calling him by that name. Mere muh se nikla nahin Sir ji, aur main nikal gaya uss group se.”
Everyone is aware of the fact that Amitabh Bachchan and Shatrughan Sinha were ruling the silver screens with their hit films in the 70s and 80s and were leading other actors by a distance. However, when the two had worked together in the films, Dostana and Kaala Patthar, they simply broke the box-office records, as the audience was in love with their screen presence. But we were not able to see more of this golden pair because of some issues between two angry young men of that generation.
One of the excerpts from Shatrughan Sinha's memoirs, Anything But Khamosh: The Shatrughan Sinha Biography, had revealed the reason behind the fall of Shatrughan-Amitabh's partnership. In a conversation with the book's author, Bharati S Pradhan, he had revealed:
"People say that Amitabh and I made a dynamic pair on screen, but if he did not wish to work with me, if he felt that in Naseeb, Shaan, Dostana or Kaala Patthar Shatrughan Sinha bhari pad gaya (having Sinha around worked against him), it didn't affect me. There were so many films that I dropped out of and returned the signing amount. There was a film called Patthar Ke Log – one of Prakash Mehra's – written by Salim-Javed...so many films that I gave up without a backward glance because of Amitabh Bachchan. The problem was the applause I was getting for my performances. Amitabh could see the response I was getting. That's why he didn't want me in some of his films."
There was a time when late politician, Amar Singh and legendary actor, Amitabh Bachchan used to give some real-life friendship goals to everyone. From getting snapped by the media at each other's family functions to sweet gestures towards each other, Amar-Amitabh were the real-life version of 'Jai-Veeru'. However, like many friendships in his life, Amitabh's concrete friendship with Amar had also ended because of some reasons best known to them.
In an interview with Tridib Raman, the Editor of the parliamentarian.in, Amar Singh had shared some details about his and Amitabh Bachchan's friendship. The politician had also hinted towards the reasons behind their fallout. The late politician had said:
"Whatever I did for Amitabh Bachchan, I did for selfish reasons, in the manner we do for our children, we do it for our satisfaction. There's a saying in English' help the needy, not the greedy'. I stood with Amitabh in his tough times but they all vanished during my troubles. I am not bothered by the fact that I had helped him."
The story of Amitabh Bachchan and Rekha’s affair began on the sets of the film, Do Anjaane in 1976. There were speculations and reports in the media that the actor is reportedly having an extra-marital affair with Rekha despite his marriage with Jaya Bachchan. However, it was during the shoot of Ganga Ki Saugandh (1978) Big B had reportedly lost his temper on a co-actor who was misbehaving with Rekha. After which, their affair came into the limelight and grabbed the media attention.
Although, both Amitabh Bachchan and Rekha had denied their affair in the media. But years later, during an interview, Yash Chopra had opened up about his experience of working with Amitabh Bachchan, his wife, Jaya Bachchan and his alleged girlfriend, Rekha, in the film Silsila. In an interview with BBC, director Yash Chopra had confirmed that Rekha and Amitabh were very much in a relationship before Silsila. Mr. Chopra had said:
“I was always on tenterhooks and scared (during Silsila) because it was real life coming into reel life. Jaya is his wife, and Rekha is his girlfriend, and the same story is going on (in real life). Anything could have happened because they are working together.”
Many newspapers and magazines even carried out headlines saying that Rekha and Amitabh Bachchan have secretly got married. However, Amitabh had always denied having a romantic relationship with Rekha and had portrayed himself as a one-woman family man. In an interview with the Filmfare magazine in 1984, when Rekha was asked to react to Amitabh’s denial of their relationship. She had said:
“Why should he have not done it? He did it to protect his image, his family, his children. Why should the public know of my love for him or his love for me? I love him and he loves me- that’s it! If he’d reacted that ways towards me in private, I would have been very disappointed. Mr Bachchan is still old-fashioned. He doesn’t want to hurt anybody, so why hurt his wife?”
However, everything between Rekha and Amitabh Bachchan had ended after the completion of their film, Silsila, and Amitabh is said to have ignored Rekha altogether
There was a time in legendary actor, Amitabh Bachchan's life when he had no other way than to say 'yes' to the director, Kaizad Gustad's film, Boom. The reason behind Big B's massive decision to work in a B-grade film despite being such a big star of the Indian film industry was the bankruptcy and financial crunch he and his family were going through around 2002-2003.
One of the most controversial films of all time, Nishabd was a brave attempt by the iconic director, Ram Gopal Varma towards the direction of the societal lid on attraction and morality. However, the age difference of 44-years between the film's lead actors, Amitabh and Jiah had sparked a huge controversy in the media after witnessing their bold and kissing sequence in the film. Also, there were reports that Amitabh's wife, Jaya Bachchan was also extremely angry about her husband's decision to be a part of a film like this.
In an interview with Mail Today in 2013, Amitabh Bachchan had recalled the time when he had gone bankrupt after his business venture, Amitabh Bachchan Corporation Ltd. (ABCL) had failed miserably and had landed him in debt of around Rs. 90 crores. The actor had stated that the year 1993 was one of the darkest years of his entire life and he would never forget the days when creditors used to come to his home and used to abuse him. He had said:
"I can never forget how creditors used to land at our door, be abusive, threatening and demanding, and worse still, when they came for ‘kudkee’ at Prateeksha, our residence. Without a doubt that was one of the darkest moments in my 44-year professional career. It made me sit and think, I looked at the options before me and evaluated different scenarios. The answer came pat - I know how to act. I got up and walked to Yashji, who stayed behind my house. I implored him to give me work. That is when the worm turned, he gave me Mohabbatein"
There's no denying that Amitabh Bachchan is one of the greatest actors ever to grace Indian cinema, but is he a reliable and trustworthy friend in real life? Or do we need to investigate his side first before coming to a conclusion? What do you think?