Poor Anupam Kher will never know if he won the Padma award for his brilliant acting skills or for being vocal about his affinity to the leading BJP government’s ideals. Personally, I have nothing against the actor, who has experimented with all sorts of roles in over 400 films in Bollywood.
I loved his serious portrayal of a father in Saransh and Daddy, laughed at his antics in Beta and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, and was intimidated by the villainous role he played as Dr Dang in Karma. The role of a dutiful police commissioner in Wednesday really blew my mind. I really think he deserves the Padma award because he is an actor par excellence with an impressive body of work.
But his receiving of the prestigious award has not gone well with many of his brethren from the film industry and in a classic case of karma, veteran actor Kadar Khan has now raised question about Anupam Kher’s credentials. In 2010, Kher had tweeted a similar sentiment: “AWARDS in our country hav become a mockery of our system. Ther is NO authenticity left in any 1 of them.B it National or PADMA.”
The Wednesday actor sang a different tune last week when he was conferred the Padma Bhushan by the government. Defending his stance, Kher expressed in a recent talk show that he was not against the awards back then; he was merely protesting about a certain person, who didn’t deserve the Padma. Ironically, Kadar Khan now has said the same about Kher.
An avid crusader against the tag ‘intolerant India’, Anupam Kher has shown that he can contradict himself at his own convenience. At the talk show aired last week, Kher, while talking about many controversial topics revolving him, stated that he is scared of being a Hindu (in India). This statement surely took the cake because the actor was exactly quoting his colleague Aamir Khan, whose “intolerant India” statement was taken out of context and made into a huge issue. A lot of people, including Anupam Kher, had admonished Aamir for painting India in such a bad light.
Well, the controversy has come full circle now; Kher’s comment is pulled out of context by Congress parliamentarian Shashi Tharoor. He tweeted: “Come on Anupam. I say it all the time. I’m a proud Hindu. Just not the Sangh’s kind of Hindu.” If you have watched the interview, you will know that Anupam Kher said he was scared out of donning saffron clothes and putting a tilak on his forehead for fear that people will start judging him as a Hindu extremist. Both the men think on the same line. But then, who is listening to whom?