Can anyone who knows anything about Hindi cinema during the last forty years accuse Basu Chatterjee (Basu da)of making indifferent or bad films? Can anyone blame Basu da for making controversial or distasteful films that could not be seen by the entire family? Ali Peter John
Can anyone charge Basu da with making films that catered to the baser instincts and tastes of the people for whom he mostly made his films and was known as "the messiah of the middle class "?
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And the one filmmaker who knew "the pulse of his audience "and never let them down even once during his long span during which he made countless films without compromising on the subjects he chose and the quality with which he made his films.
which had a distinct class of their own and were recognized as the Basu Chatterjee brand of films.
Can anyone deny that Basu da was the founder of what was and is still known as the middle-of-the-road cinema?
which was so very different from the so-called art and parallel cinema films and the commercial masala films.
Can anyone deny Basu da's unique ability to make films on every kind of subject, from the light and comic to the sublime and the serious?
How can anyone deny the contribution he made to actors of all classes, from Rakesh Pandey and Rakesh Roshan, Amol Palekar to Dharmendra, Hema Malini, Rajesh Khanna, Jeetendra and Amitabh Bachchan, besides actresses like Jaya Bhaduri, Vidya Sinha, Zarina Wahab, Bindiya Goswami, Moushumi Chatterjee and Salma Agha to name only a few, and veteran actor like Ashok Kumar, David Abraham, Utpal Dutt and Pearl Padamsee, A.K.Hangal and the number is endless?
How can anyone forget how he used music to tell his stories better and how he worked with music directors like S.D.Burman, Salil Choudhury,Lamikant-Pyarelal,R.D.Burman, Rajesh Roshan, and some of the best-known composers of his time (and for all time).
How can anyone deny him the recognition for his talent as one of the best writers who had come to Hindi cinema?
An outstanding screenplay writer and a dialogue writer who wrote the language of the common man for everyone to understand, be entertained, and be enlightened.
How can the learned historians and journalists deny him his place as the maker who also set a new trend on the small screen when it was still in its formative stages?
And yet Basu da never received a single major award either from the central government or any of the state governments.
If any and every actor honored with a Padmashri during the last forty years a versatile actor like Anupam Kher who is better known as a sycophant of the present government at the center can be honored with the Padamabhushan.
If a so-called singer like Adnan Sami who has been changing his citizenship like a chameleon can be given the Padmashri.
A singer who is no singer like Udit Narayan can be Padamabhushan Udit Narayan if there are any number of people who have received the Padama awards without any substantial contribution.
If third-grade politicians so-called social activists and social workers can be honoured.
Then Why Couldn't Basu Da Be Honoured For The Work He Did And Should Have Got Him An Award That Was Higher Than A Padmashri (Even A Great Writer, Film Maker And One Of The Greatest Indians, Was Given Only A Padmashri), Basu Chatterjee Who Started His Career As The Founder Of "Film Forum "Formed By K.A.Abbas And Then Went On To Be A Formidable Force Could Even Be Decorated With The Dadasahab Phalke Award.
Not One Of The Many Phalke Awards Being Given Away In Every Suburb, Mohala And Gully These Days, But The Dadasahab Phalke Award Instituted By The Government Of India.
What was that one big fault Basu da had against his name for being punished without any major award?
Was it because he didn't have the power groups and pressure groups to push his name in the corridors of power where all decisions, good and mostly bad are taken?
Was it because he could not pamper the egos of the powers that be?
Was it because he was an outspoken man who spoke his heart and mind without caring for the consequences?
We have all punished Basu da enough during his lifetime for his only bad habit and crime of making good films all the time, which is what some of the greatest filmmakers have not been able to do
I know if I know how the wheels of power work, I have been part of the national jury and other juries and I know how they work and how they take decisions on awards for films.
Filmmakers and anything to do with films, I know Basu da would not even liked my writing this angry piece for him and fighting for him, but I know how disturbed I have been ever since he died.
I know everyone who has lived will have to die someday but when a man like Basu da dies without getting the awards he deserved and the respect that was his due, it hurts a living man like me who held Basu da a very common man,
In the highest esteem and the saddest thing for and I am sure for many others like me is that a Basu da walks his earth only once, he has only one and final "take" and there are no "retakes" for him.
If by chance, I was god, I would have at least one "retake" for an unusual "film" that can never be made again.
The film called "Basu da-ek anmol khazaana", a film that would win all the awards that Basu Chatterjee was denied during his illustrious life.
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