Amitabh: Do not deserve a Bharat Ratna

By Hindustan Times

Amitabh Bachchan, who turns 69 today, wants his birthday to be a family affair. The actor will celebrate with wife Jaya Bachchan and daughter-in-law Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. He says, “I am not working that day. I will spend it with family instead. Abhishek (son Abhishek Bachchan) is shooting in Jaipur for Bol Bachchan, so I hope he can join us too. After that, I’ll be travelling abroad.”

The actor, who has been part of the film industry for over 40 years now, was considered by many as prime candidate for the Bharat Ratna, the country’s highest civilian award, according to recent media reports.

Several colleagues from the fraternity have echoed the sentiment too. Legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar had said recently, “He has a great body of work, and for the way he works so enthusiastically at this age, he must get the award.”

But Bachchan takes an expectedly modest stand: “She is elder to me and I’m very small in front of her, so I shouldn’t comment on it. But I don’t think I am eligible for an honour like the Bharat Ratna, nor am I going to get it.”

Over the years, Bachchan has delivered several award-winning performances. He’s won three National Awards for Agneepath (1991), Black (2006) and Paa (2010) and has been appreciated for his roles in films like Zanjeer (1973), Deewar (1975) and Sholay (1975). Even then, he claims, “I haven’t done anything worthy of a Bharat Ratna. I don’t deserve it.”

Bachchan, arguably still among the most popular actors in the country, holds his colleagues in high regard instead; even the fresh lot of actors: “I’ve had the opportunity to work with actors from the younger generation, and I admire them for the quality of their work. When I go on the sets, I’m the oldest there, because the average age is 25 - 30. I feel awkward, but I look forward to this generation.”

Big B sings for world peace

Besides acting, Bachchan has also been devoting time to singing. In the past, he has done playback for some of his film characters, and occasionally voiced pop songs. Now, he is lending his skills to an independent composition on world peace by music director, Aadesh Shrivastav.

“Aadesh has made a nice composition. Peace prevails across the world; that’s the theme of the song. I’m proud of him for thinking this way and composing music on such subjects.”

The actor also produced and sang the Hanuman Chalisa on Aadesh’s recent devotional album.

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