The cutting comments of Justice Markandey Katju against Amitabh Bachchan and the media have elicited virtually no response from the superstar. In fact, quite to the contrary, the actor was in a very placatory mood, virtually agreeing to the shocking comments by the former Chairman of the Press Council of India and former Supreme Court judge. No one in the media fraternity has chosen to react to the acidic comments either. Justice Katju is known for making critical comments about individuals and groups that question their intelligence and more, so this is not entirely out of character. While his remarks infuriated the megastar’s fans, who took to the social media in protest, they failed to move the person at whom the justice was aiming his barbs.
While it is not really known why Justice Katju picked on Amitabh Bachchan, whose latest film Pink is running in theatres, which has been critically acclaimed for the discerning content and his acting ability, it is definitely clear that the former SC judge was bent on insulting the actor. The newly released film is a huge comment against the anti-women cultural ethos in the country that keeps them chained and prevents them from developing their minds in a free and fair manner in the face of male violence and denial of opportunities even when it comes to as serious an issue as sexual assault.
Justice Katju took to Twitter and posted this message against the actor: “Amitabh Bachchan is a man with nothing in his head, and since most mediapersons praise him, I doubt there is anything in their heads.”
Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan, who is 73 years old, and who is known for extremely entertaining turns of phrases as well as breaking out into poetry to put forth his views in a most entertaining and disarming manner refused to take the bait when he was questioned about the surprising turn of events at a Mumbai press conference. Instead, he looked to take the bite out of the controversy in a very humble and forthright manner despite the massive provocation.
Without resorting to any sarcasm or adopting an aggressive stance, Bachchan said that, “Justice Katju is right. I really don’t have anything inside my head. My head is khallas (finished).”
Those looking for some old simmering rivalry between them, both having attended the same school in Allahabad, did not manage to dig out any past dirt as Bachchan responded by saying, “There is no rivalry between us. I will have to fold my hands and stand before him. He is a judge.”
While Amitabh Bachchan failed to provide any juicy tidbit of information or even criticise Justice Katju, the later was not held back at all. On being approached for an explanation, Justice Katju tweeted this: “Amitabh Bachchan’s films, like those of Dev Anand, Shammi Kapoor, Rajesh Khanna, etc are like drugs, they take the people to a world of make believe, and they are therefore very useful to our rulers since they keep people pacified.”
In fact, while responding to queries, Justice Katju seems to have given a compliment of sorts to the actor, but with an added proviso, through another tweet on the subject that invoked philosopher, and revolutionary sociologist Karl Marx and his phrase ‘opium of the masses’. He said, “Apart from being a good actor, what is there in Amitabh Bachchan? Has he any scientific ideas for solving the country’s massive problems? There are none. From time to time he appears on some media channels giving sermons and homilies, and from time to time he is shown to be doing good deeds, but who can not do this with tons of money.”
‘ If you cannot give the people bread, give them circuses “. pic.twitter.com/SMpsXEvGUW
— Markandey Katju (@mkatju) September 17, 2016
Culling out another example from history to underline his outrageous comments, this time from Marie Antoinette the Queen of France who was killed in the wake of the French Revolution, Justice Katju tweaked her infamous comment saying, “If you cannot give the people bread, give them circuses “.