FILM CITY SHOULD BE NAMED DILIP KUMAR, DEV ANAND, AND ASHOK KUMAR YA AMITABH BACHCHAN
Rishi Kapoor waded into a political row on May 18 after he ranted against the Congress for naming roads and buildings after members of the Gandhi family.
For its part, the Congress dismissed the sixty-three year-old actor’s remarks as carp. “Last time I heard of him was in the film ‘Bobby’. His remarks are not worth commenting on”, party spokesman Manish Tewari said. “He has no role to play in public life”.
Kapoor usually keeps his public opinion private but is broadcasting his views of late through his Twitter handle @chintskap, starting with the Hindu nationalist-right for growing religious intolerance in the country.
“Change Gandhi family assets named by Congress. Bandra/Worli Sea Link to Lata Mangeshkar or JRD Tata Link Road. Baap ka maal samajh rakhaa tha? (Did they consider it family property?), he posted.
“We must name important assets of the country who have contributed to society. Har cheez Gandhi ke naam? I don’t agree. Sochna log!”
The yesteryear teenybopper and popular star of many hit films, whose latest offering “Kapoor and Sons” did remarkably well in the box-office, said Delhi’s international airport should be named after personalities such as freedom fighter Bhagat Singh or Dalit icon Bhimrao Ambedkar, who wrote the Constitution.
“Why Indira Gandhi Airport International” Why not Mahatma Gandhi or Bhagat Singh, Ambedkar or on my name Rishi Kapoor. As superficial! What say?”
Kapoor also made a pitch for naming buildings after people from the film industry.
“Film City should be named Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand, and Ashok Kumar, ya Amitabh Bachchan ke naam? Rajiv Gandhi udyog kya hota hai? Socho doston!?
He said his father, legendary actor-filmmaker Raj Kapoor, has done more good to the country than any politician, “Raj Kapoor has made India proud over the years all over even after his death. Certainly more than what has been perceived by politics, he posted.
His colleague Anupam Kher supported his views, saying “he has a valid point but people will start attributing motives”.
Kher, whose wife Kirron is a BJP parliamentarian, said: “Contribution of other people who have done a lot, such as JRD Tata and Lata Mangeshkar, cannot be ignored. Even some Congress leaders such as PV Narasimha Rao and Manmohan Singh have not been mentioned”.
Filmmaker and censor board member Ashoke Pandit too backed Kapoor.
“Salutes to @chintskap for speaking the truth. The #Nehruisation of this country has to go. There is no difference between them and the Britishers”, he tweeted.
Kapoor’s tweet trended throughout May 18 under the hashtag “NamedAfterGandhis” while trolls scoffed at him, saying people were targeting the Gandhis “to get into the good books” of the ruling BJP.
A group of Congress workers staged a protest outside Kapoor’s Pali Hill home in Mumbai.
But the aftershock came from NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik, who alleged that the actor was drunk when he tweeted his comments. “He remains in an inebriated state for 20 hours a day”.
Congress leader from Mumbai, Sanjay Nirupam said he has sent Kapoor a list of airports in the country named after important leaders from Rajput warrior king Maharana Pratap and Maratha chief Shivaji to former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri.