Lyricist-scriptwriter Javed Akhtar is the latest from the Hindi film industry to criticise Naseeruddin Shah for his comments that Rajesh Khanna was responsible for bringing “mediocrity” in Bollywood in the 1970s.
“It’s simple – Naseeruddin Shah does not like successful people. I have never heard him praise any successful person.
He criticises Dilip Kumar; he criticises Amitabh Bachchan,” Akhtar, who was here to participate in the first-ever Bangalore Poetry Festival organised by ‘Atta Galatta’, said.
Shah’s comments had stirred a hornet’s nest with Akhtar’s former scriptwriting partner Salim Khan attributing the veteran actor’s remarks to “frustration and bitterness”.
Khanna’s daughter Twinkle also had said Shah should not have attacked a man who is dead and cannot defend himself.
In an interview, Shah had said that 70s was the time when mediocrity came in Hindi films and also when Khanna joined the industry, who according to him was a “poor actor”.
Khanna, who was Bollywood’s first superstar, died of cancer in July 2012 at the age of 69. He acted in films like “Baharon Ke Sapne”, “Aradhana”, “Haathi Mere Saathi”, “Amar Prem” and “Aap Ki Kasam” among others.
He won three Filmfare Best Actor Awards and was nominated for the same 14 times. He was awarded the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005.