Amitabh Bachchan recently got into an online spat with a frustrated local commuter. The revered actor, who is known to many in the country as the greatest of his kind, and even worshipped as a deity in parts of India, has developed a tradition of meeting his many fans every Sunday. This practice, which elates the hundreds of fans that gather outside his home every week, has led to a disgruntled commuter venting his frustration at the actor on Facebook.
The motorcyclist, who apparently called him a “third rate actor” and an “old aged man”, also suggested that Bachchan hold these meetings at Juhu beach since there is so much space. The commuter’s complaint was that the Sunday gatherings of Bachchan’s fans was causing massive traffic jams on the road, and this was disrupting his every day activities.
Clearly bothered by the motorcyclists comments, Bachchan posted his response on his blog.
The problem with a sticky situation like this, is that no one emerges the winner. On one hand they are both right in their respective ways, and yet on the other hand completely wrong.
It is preposterous for the motorcyclist to refer to such a generational legend, as a third rate actor. It is disrespectful and in the end makes him sound petty and foolish, it also throws his argument in the dirt.
It is also ridiculous for Bachchan to believe that the people of Mumbai should turn a blind eye to a clear violation of public rights. The road outside his home does not belong to him, it belongs to the public. The road is as much the motorcyclists as it is his, and for that simple reason, he cannot possibly claim that he “shall meet his family [what he calls his fans] at home not on the beach”.
It is understandable that a man as accomplished as Bachchan will have hundreds if not thousands of fans throwing themselves at him. It is also understandable that in a country as frenzied as India, where celebrities are almost God like, disruptions such as these will take place. However, there has to be a method set up, that allows the celebrity to meet his fans and spend his time with them, but avoid disrupting the lives of those who wish to do something else with their time.
The idea that a celebrity in India can get away with anything needs to be disproved. Yes, Amitabh Bachchan is a great actor and an altogether good human being, yes, there is not much he can do about the people that gather outside his home, and yes, it is immature and disrespectful for the motorcyclist to call him names in an attempt to get his point across. However, none of this means that Bachchan is above the law.
Upon searching through the comments made on Amitabh Bachchan’s Facebook page, we we were unable to find the comment made by the disgruntled motorcyclist. However, we did find comments by some fans empathising with said motorcyclist.