The Tribune - Spectrum

, March 3, 2002

Salman in news for the wrong reasons
Gautam Grover

Salman KhanSALMAN Khan continues to make news for all the wrong reasons. It’s been ages since he had a release and barring an odd Hum Tumhare Hai Sanam, he does not have a major film on the floors. Yet, the media refuses to let go and continues to make a monster out of the young man.

The latest is on the Mumbai cops ticking him off for "harassing" Aishwarya Rai, who is supposed to be his current love interest. The latter’s father, Krishnaraj Rai had reportedly filed a police complaint stating that Salman had threatened the family and that none of the Rais should be held responsible for any untoward incident or accident involving the actor.

The Press further reported that on one occasion, Salman rammed his car into Aishwarya’s stationary vehicle and on another, knocked down the front door of her residence on another. Krishnaraj lodged the police complaint only after an inebriated Salman barged into his house, smashing some windowpanes and destroying furniture.


Salman’s father, Salim Khan (who co-authored Sholay with Javed Akhtar) initially tried to dismiss these reports as "gossip". Later, he went on record to say that when people are in love, it is not always possible to act rationally. "Salman may have done a few things in an emotionally-charged state", he conceded.

The Salman-Aishwarya relationship, which started on the sets of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, has been in the news when the actress attended a film awards function in Mumbai with a fractured arm and a black eye a couple of years ago.

Subsequently though, Aishwarya was quoted as saying: "I am an intelligent and an independent woman. I would never allow any man to hit me physically."

But then, the reputation has stuck, given Salman’s history of brawling, both with his girlfriends and also on the set of one of his films. He was also caught on camera beating up journalists covering his appearance in a case involving foreign exchange earnings from a stage show abroad. Earlier on, he had been jailed for shooting a black buck during the filming of Sooraj Barjatya’s Hum Saath Saath Hain, in Rajasthan.

Yet, for every negative report or accusation, there are countless friends, colleagues and fans willing to put in a kind word for Salman. As glamour photographer Avinash Govarikar points out" "The real Salman is quite unlike the one you read about. He’s intelligent, genuinely funny and a friend for life."

Filmmakers Sajid Nadiadwala (Judwaa), Barjatya (Maine Pyar Kiya) and Bhansali (Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam) swear by his talent. Karan Johar, who cast Salman in a supporting role in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai says nobody could have played that part as well. Explains David Dhawan (Biwi No 1): "Salman has a child-like quality that makes him very endearing."

The actor however, dismisses these compliments by insisting he is not a great actor. "But my strength lies in the fact that I know my potential and my limitations," he was quoted in an interview. "I don’t do what I can’t. I turn down parts that I know will suit others better."

Not many know that Salman’s screen debut was as Rekha’s brattish brother-in-law in Biwi Ho To Aisi. He returned in 1989 with Maine Pyar Kiya to become a national sensation. This was followed by mostly romantic films like Baaghi, Patthar Ke Phool, Qurbaan and Love.

Next up, his popularity reached a peak when he played pivotal parts in Saajan, Andaaz Apna Apna and Karan Arjun. His most memorable roles though, are those he played in Sooraj’s Hum Aapke Hain Kaun, Bhansali’s Khamoshi and Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam. The rest, as they say, is recent history.

Indo-Japanese venture

A Japanese production house has bankrolled a biographical film on Indian freedom fighter, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose with Abhishek Bachchan and Arvind Swamy short-listed for the title role. Raja Sen, an award winning Bengali filmmaker, will be directing this bilingual in English and Hindi.

Titled Chalo Dilli, the film will be shot extensively in Russia, Afghanistan, Germany, Japan and other places Bose had visited during his lifetime. In India, Kolkata would be the main location, including the historic Elgin House where he had stayed on various occasions.

According to producer Pijush Chakraborty, the 500 million-rupee project will feature Roshan Seth (as Jawaharlal Nehru), Paresh Rawal (as Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel), Naseeruddin Shah (Mahatma Gandhi) and Pia Chakraborty (Captain Lakshmi) in the leads.

"Amitabh Bachchan has agreed to lend his voice as the sutradhar, informed the producer. "There are about 200 scenes in the script and it is impossible to film all of it. So some important scenes will have to be converted into dialogues and narrated by the baritoned (sic) Bachchan."

Said Sen, who has just completed directing a Bengali film with Amitabh and Jaya Bachchan: "The Hindi version of Chalo Dilli will be relatively longer as we will extensively explore Netaji’s emotional side. The international market might not be keen on the emotional slope."

Among Indian freedom fighters, Gandhi, Bhagat Singh and Chandrashekar Azad have been subjects of abiding interest among Indian filmmakers over the years. Saico’s interest in financing Chalo Dilli could lie in Bose being a relatively unexploited subject for a biographical.

Significantly, Naseeruddin Shah has already played Gandhi in Mahatma vs Mahatma while Roshan Seth was seen as Nehru in Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi. Paresh Rawal won the national award for playing the title role of Vallabhbhai Patel in Ketan Mehta’s Sardar. (MF)

Home Top