Rajesh Khanna attack: Naseeruddin Shah says sorry, but Twinkle furious, Twitter trolls outraged

By: | Updated: July 25, 2016 9:45 AM

Unwilling to tolerate a jibe at Rajesh Khanna, and that too for destroying quality cinema in India, Twinkle Khanna took to Twitter to blast Naseeruddin Shah for his audacity to talk ill of the dead, especially as they cannot defend themselves.

Rajesh Khanna, Rajesh Khanna attack, Rajesh Khanna naseeruddin shah, Rajesh Khanna twinkle khanna, twinkle khanna, twinkle khanna twitter, Naseeruddin Shah, Naseeruddin Shah twitter, Naseeruddin Shah rajesh khanna, twitter, twitter twinkle khanna, twitter trolls, viral on twitter, entertainmentThe world of cinema is generally willing to take Naseeruddin Shah?s words as Gospel truth, usually. But the folks on Twitter, presumably all Rajesh Khanna fans who remember his movies like Anand, Amar Prem, Kati Patang or the later end-of-career variety took the Twinkle cue and registered their umbrage. (PTI)

It is a fight that Rajesh Khanna would certainly love to fight himself – if he was alive. Indubitably one of the more saccharine actors to hit the screens in the 70s, the man moved Bollywood movie lovers like no one before him had with his ‘mesmerising’ performances. Considering that he is dead and unable to defend his ‘legacy’, to the battlefield comes former actress Twinkle Khanna, his daughter. And what is the brouhaha all about? Well, the actor’s actor Naseerudin Shah, a man who is as much respected for his brilliant acting as his views on all things filmy, has gone ahead and called Rajesh Khanna a mediocre, nay, even a ‘poor actor’.

More than that, the good Mr Shah has actually said that Rajesh Khanna was responsible for the downgrading of the entire industry by forcing it to paint itself in his own image. To be fair to Naseerudin, he did say that Khanna ‘was God in those days’. A left handed compliment? Perhaps not.

Rajesh Khanna had risen from mediocrity to rule Bollywood for a decade – he was its first superstar. He was a fighter indeed for his own cause, but his acting prowess was always debatable, something that Shah brought to the fore.

Unwilling to tolerate a jibe at her dead father and that too for destroying quality cinema in India, Twinkle took to Twitter to blast Naseeruddin for his audacity to talk ill of the dead, especially as they cannot defend themselves. Well, that sword cuts both ways, we say. Here is her tweet: “Sir if u can’t respect the living ,respect the dead-mediocrity is attacking a man who can’t respond NaseerudinShah”

Sir if u can’t respect the living ,respect the dead-mediocrity is attacking a man who can’t respond @NaseerudinShah https://t.co/4EdyWmwiNj

— Twinkle Khanna (@mrsfunnybones) July 23, 2016

The world of cinema is generally willing to take Naseeruddin Shah’s words as Gospel truth, usually. But the folks on Twitter, presumably all Rajesh Khanna fans who remember his movies like Anand, Amar Prem, Kati Patang or the later end-of-career variety took the Twinkle cue and registered their umbrage. The reactions came fast and furious. He may have been dead for years, but it looks like the legacy of Rajesh Khanna is still alive and ticking and able to draw blood, so to speak.

The frenzied and even raging reactions were enough to make Naseeruddin Shah run for cover. He did not tarry to defend his analysis of Bollywood, instead he chose to throw in the towel and admit defeat. He apologised, according to a HT report. Still, where did it leave his arguement that in 1970s Bollywood hardly covered itself much in glory. In the trash bin?

Here is what Naseeruddin said according to a HT report. “I’d apologise to those who took personal offence but I wasn’t talking of a particular person. I was talking about a phenomenon”.

Wonder why the generally eloquent Mr Shah could not bring his not inconsiderable intelletual capacity to bear to terrorise the trolls into submission with a sound, logical explanation?

But that is not where the tangle ended. The apology tendered and the battle won, Twinkle Khanna might have let it go at that, but she couldn’t resist twisting the knife and went on to post another reaction, which in effect, indicated that the she has not forgiven Shah and that this was not enough.

Here is her post: “All due regard toMrShah’s reality,mine=a man who loved cinema& did films likeAnand,AmarPrem,KatiPatang thank u folks for all the love.”

I agree with you @mrsfunnybones…due respect to seniority but this was in exceptionally bad taste and not becoming of a fraternity member..

Karan Johar (@karanjohar) July 23, 2016

What did the twitterati attack Naseeruddin Shah for? In an interaction with the Hindustan Times, Naseeruddin Shah said, “Nothing has changed in Bollywood. It is the same as it was 50 years ago. The photography and editing is better but the subjects are as puerile as they were in the 70’s.” Sensing perhaps that the effect of that statement would be lost unless he mentioned names, Naseeruddin added, “It was the 70’s when mediocrity came in Hindi films. That’s when the actor called Rajesh Khanna joined the industry. For all his success, I think Mr Khanna was a very limited actor. In fact, he was a poor actor. His taste ruled the industry. The quality of script, acting, music and lyrics deteriorated. Colour came in. You could make a heroine wear a purple dress and hero a red shirt, go to Kashmir and make a movie. You didn’t need a story. This trend continued and I certainly think Mr Khanna had something to do with it because he was God in those days”.

A damning indictment? Take your call.

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