By Team Bollyy
New Update



I don’t know whether it was the fear of the Corona virus ( Covid 19) or the Awe and admiration ( or is it fear? ) or our Prime Minister Narendrabhai Damodar Modi, but the response to his call for a Janta Curfew was overwhelming. It was unbelievable to see almost the entire country back in their homes and roads, vehicles, all public places and even every gully and lane deserted, it was the kind of happening that had never happened in the history of independent India. The climax at 5’o clock in the evening when lakhs of Indians walked into their balconies and climbed their terraces to clap, to sound thaalis, to blow conches and even played the guitar made the heart feel warm for India and saw hope for a united India.

And like all the Indians who observed the Janta Curfew, Bollywood also proved that it was with India and the crisis it was going through. All studios, all shootings, all recordings and every single activity associated with the making of films came to a complete standstill to join the Janta Curfew.

It was a great feeling to see all the Bachchans, the Kapoors, the Kumars, the Devgns and above all the Khans staying back at home and spending quality time with their families and setting things right in their homes which they had neglected for long because of their hectic schedules. Some of them even posted pictures and treated about their life at home and spending time with their families. They had in their own ways shown that they were ideal Indians who cared for India and other Indians.

But, these and other stars like Anupam Kher and Priyanka Chopra who have been spending most of their time in Hollywood and other places, also came in for a lot of slamming and strident criticism for not being vocal when the country was facing one of the most dangerous situations during the protests against the CAA, NRC and NRP and the gruesome riots in North East Delhi where bloody riots took place between two major communities and there were many who raised their voices, but strangely, the entire star brigade was quiet about all that happened. There were many activists who did not spare Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan, Akshay Kumar and Ajay Devgn for advising their fans and Indians on about how to combat the Corona virus and those who spoke out against them asked why they couldn’t come out with similar advice when it was needed most during the rights. Their critics said that they were cowards who are now worried because their own lives could be at stake. Some of the most vehement critics of these stars were mostly Indians settled abroad. They also condemned the stars for not showing their long-heartedness by donating money for the cause of fighting the Corona virus, which they said stars in Hollywood and in other countries are doing. Surprisingly, not one of these stars who have been facing all this flak have reacted to any of the criticism they have been receiving.

Bollywood will certainly be losing a great deal of money and time because of this unexpected curses. But it has the hope of making up for its losses, what can it do for the reputation it has been losing because of the so-called indifference in the face of crises?


It was sometime, in November or December of 1986. The industry in the then Bombay felt it was being badly treated by the Government of Maharashtra because of the high level of taxes with which it was burdened. And it decided to go on a one-day lockdown ( bandh) of the industry in city.

The entire industry decided to come out on the streets dressed all in black. They all collected at the Royal Opera House and after having a meeting there, they walked in a procession to the Girgaum Chowpatty grounds. The highlights of the procession, was the fiery Smita Patil who was 8 months pregnant and was advised not to walk in the procession, but she defied her physical condition and walked.

Almost every star, big and small and down to the daily wage earners sat in the sun and sat on the burning sands and listened to the speeches made by the leaders who organised and led the procession. I was  in that crowd and I can still remember the speeches made by Dilip Kumar and Raj Kapoor and I remember writing how the waves of the sea and the sun in the sky had stood still to listen to the two legends speak.

The protest was a success, the industry got its wishes fulfilled ( or did they ?) but there has never been another bandh or a procession like the one in 1986.

PS: It was during this time that the industry had organised a grand show to raise fund at the Brabourne Stadium in Churchgate

Again, the entire industry took part and the only star who was found missing was Amitabh Bachchan. Tongues started wagging and casting aspersions on him. He was embroiled in the Bofors gun case and was considered to be a part of the Government and was accused of not doing anything for the industry. It was merely midnight and Amitabh had still not reached the venue and all hope of his coming was being given up…

And then at the stroke of midnight, Amitabh came and the show started all over again and Amitabh kept the crowd spellbound till the early hours of the morning.

It was during the same time that Amitabh was having major problems with the press, especially with Indian Express, of which Screen was a part. The paper was having a big party at the then Centaur Hotel in Juhu. Again, it was the same seen scene. Amitabh who I had been asked to invite on my own had not turned up till past midnight and my management kept giving me looks as if to say that I was to blame. Amitabh, to make matters worse for me was attending an awards function organized by his friend, the noted poet, writer and editor, Pritish Nandy. I kept telling people that Amitabh would come and around 2:30 in the night, his van which I could recognize even from a distance drove into the compound of the hotel and from it emerged Amitabh, Jaya, Danny Denzongpa and the well-known producer Romesh Sharma. One look at Amitabh and the people who were speaking against him were dumbstruck and once again, it was time for the party to start all over again and it ended only after dawn. Not one person had left the hotel till then.


Latest Stories