Legendary Bollywood actor Kader Khan left for his heavenly abode as his fans all over the world welcomed the arrival of the new year. His death sent his fans in general and Bollywood in particular in mourning. Leading Bollywood personalities including Amitabh Bachchan, Ajay Devgn, Akshay Kumar, David Dhawan and his son Varun Dhawan and Anupam Kher among others expressed their sadness on the death of a true legend. However, moments after his death an old TV interview of Khan has gone viral with the legendary actor revealing how he had to face humiliation and subsequent punishment for not addressing Amitabh Bachchan as ‘sir.’
In the interview, shared by a Twitter user (watch below), Khan is seen reminiscing an episode involving a producer from south India and Amitabh Bachchan. He says, “Once a producer from the south came and asked, ‘Have you met the Sir ji?’ I asked, ‘Which sir ji?’ He said, pointing at Amit ji, ‘that tall man.’ Amit ji was coming. I said, ‘He’s Amit. When did he become sir ji?’ (He said) ‘We call him sir ji.’ Since then everyone started addressing him as sir ji.”
Khan then goes on to say how he could not address Amitabh Bachchan as sir and this led to his exclusion from ‘that group.’ The late actor also says that the ‘punishment’ wasn’t limited to this film. “Can someone address his friend or brother by any other title? It’s impossible. I could not do that. Perhaps this is the reason why my equation with him (Bachchan) did not remain the same.
“That’s why I was not in Khuda Gawah. I only wrote half of Ganga Jamuna Saraswati and left midway. After that I could not write other films too.”
I grew up watching him in full flow. From serious roles to villainous to comedy, he was peerless. And a prolific screenplay writer par excellence. And he had tremendous self-respect and dignity. Here is what he has to say about his relationship with Panamawala. pic.twitter.com/QecJBhRx4c
— Anti Fascist Ranga (@RangaSiyaar1) December 30, 2018
According to journalist and author Yasser Usman, after Salim-Javed, it was Kader Khan, who wrote some of Amitabh Bachchan’s biggest hits and most popular dialogues/ roles like ‘Muqaddar Ka Sikander, Amar Akbar Anthony, Sharabi, Lawaris, Satte Pe Satta, Naseeb.’ He said that ‘all had dialogues written by Kader Khan.’
After Salim-Javed, it was #KaderKhan who wrote some of Amitabh’s biggest hits and most popular dialogues/ roles like Muqaddar Ka Sikander, Amar Akbar Anthony, Sharabi, Lawaris, Satte Pe Satta, Naseeb… all had dialogues written by Kader Khan.
— Yasser Usman (@yasser_aks) January 1, 2019
This explains why Khan felt so hurt at the punishment meted out to him for addressing Bachchan as sir.
David Dhawan, with whom Khan collaborated in several hit films in the 90s, said that the legendary actor had been suffering for last 10 years. With Dhawan, Khan worked in Bol Radha Bol, Aankhen and Raja Babu besides doing several films in the No 1 series, such as Coolie No 1 and Auntie No 1.
Dhawan was quoted by Hindustan Times, “Once I started working with him, the first film of our association was Bol Radha Bol, we started this journey together which went on and on. I kept making films and he used to be there. He treated me like his own. He was my hero.”
Khan was born in Kabul and made his Bollywood debut in 1973 in Daag starring Rajesh Khanna. He went on to act in more than 300 films. Aside from being an accomplished actor, he also dialogues for over 250 films. Before becoming an actor, he wrote dialogues for Randhir Kapoor-Jaya Bachchan’s Jawani Diwani.
Two filmmakers Kader Khan actively collaborated were Manmohan Desaid and Prakash Mehra. Some of the notable films he worked with these two filmmakers were Dharam Veer, Ganga Jamuna Saraswati, Coolie, Suhaag, Desh Premee, Amar Akbar Anthony, Parvarish, Jwalamukhi, Sharaabi, Lawaaris and Muqadaar Ka Sikandar.
He is survived by wife Hajra, son Sarfaraz, daughter-in-law Shaista and grandchildren, who are now settled in Canada.