Rishi Kapoor's revelation in 'Khullam Khulla' sheds light on the state of Indian awards

FP Staff

Jan,20 2017 14:22:38 IST

Veteran actor Rishi Kapoor has come out in the open to prove that awards can be bought, as he bought one for himself. No, he was not referring to the Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Male) award he got at the 62nd Filmfare Awards this past weekend.

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Rishi Kapoor

In his recently released autobiography titled, Khullam Khulla, he goes uncensored on his strained relations with contemporary Amitabh Bachchan. He discusses how Bachchan was the most commercially bankable star back in the 1970s as he was the archetypal action hero. There was little scope for romantic comedies back then which is why actors like him did not get as many good roles as Bachhan did.

In the process, he recalls how Bachchan and him were not even on talking terms while shooting for Yash Chopra's 1976 romance ensemble Kabhi Kabhi. While exploring the multiple theories behind the cold vibes between the two, he suspected that one of them could be that Kapoor had won the Award for the Best Actor in a Leading Role (Male) for Raj Kapoor's young romance Bobby instead of Bachchan winning it for Prakash Mehra's action drama Zanjeer.

Kapoor admits, at the risk of being embarrassed, that he had in fact bought that award. When an official offered him the award for Rs 30,000, Kapoor gave in. He clarifies in his autobiography that he was extremely young and fiercely competitive at that time and it was naive on his part to have bought the award to establish his supremacy.

However, Kapoor also states that he may be reading too much. He suggests that Bachchan, being a method actor, may have been too immersed in his serious role to talk to other co-stars on set.

Here's the excerpt from his book:

I think that Amitabh was sulking because I had won the best actor award for Bobby, given by the leading film magazine of the era. I am sure he felt the award was rightfully his for Zanjeer, which released the same year. I am ashamed to say it, but I actually ‘bought’ that award. I was so naïve. There was this PRO, Taraknath Gandhi, who said to me, ‘Sir, tees hazaar de do, toh aap ko main award dila doonga.’ I am not the manipulative sort but I admit that I gave him the money without thinking.
My secretary, Ghanshyam, also said, ‘Sir, dete hain, mil jayega award, isme kya hai.’ Amitabh probably learnt from someone that I had paid for the award. I can only say it was 1974, I was twenty-two years old, and incredibly naïve and bratty. I was flush with money and was not wise or mature enough to understand what I was doing. Only later did I realize my folly.

Irrespective of what the reason behind the cold vibes might be, the fact is that Kapoor has validated the rumour that awards can be bought. After Akshay Kumar was not nominated for either of his three performances from last year, #filmfareawardsonsale started trending on Twitter, casting a huge question mark on the integrity of award functions in India.

We must say that Kapoor's revelation has only added fuel to the fire.

Read the complete review of Khullam Khulla here.

Updated Date: Jan 20, 2017 14:22 PM