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   Now that Amitabh Bachchan has entered the battle... (May 11, 1986)

Now that Amitabh Bachchan has entered the battle, on the side of the film industry, the industry is confident that it will overpower the wicked government and win.

Raj Kapoor, the well-known film-maker, was telling me about this “I am casting Amitabh with Dharmendra, no more of this Sunil Dutt. I mean, he is alright taking out these morchas and making representations to the government, but our fight has gone beyond that stage. Assisting the two will be Hema Malini and Rekha, but the women are there mainly to keep the government interested in the strike.”

“How will Amitabh end the strike?” I asked.

“I am still working on the script,” Raj Kapoor said. “But he is a mard and naturally he will use his two hands, his six-shooter, his sword, the helicopter from which he will jump on Mantralaya etc. in between, there may be one or tow songs, or three or four, but that is once again only so that the government does not lose interest in the strike. Already it seems to have forgotten that the industry is on strike.”

“Will Amitabh fight the government as an actor or as an MP or as a minister-to-be or what?” I asked.

“You know he is a master of disguises, so he will be wearing various disguises and fighting the government, one minute MP, one minute Aaj Ka MLA, one minute orphan in search of his lost brother, who finally will turn out to be Mithun Chakravorty, the dancer,” Raj Kapoor said. “By the time the finishes with the government, it will wish it had never introduced the new sales tax.”

“You strike leaders think of every thing,” I said.

“We have to,” Raj Kapoor said. “After all, we are fighting the government, not just Amjad Khan or Pran or Prem Chopra. The government, not just Amjad Khan government will have the police on their side, but the people will be on our side. Shashi Kapoor will play an honest police officer, grey hair on the temples etc., whose conscience will not allow him to carry out the government’s orders.”

“It is going to be a battle royal,” I said.

“Yes, royalty also will be there,” he said. “One of the older actresses will play a maharani and Saeed Jaffrey will be her diwan-e-khans. Once you decide to defy the government, and work Amitabh into the script, you have to go all out.”

“Absolutely,” I said. “When do you plan to let Amitabh lead the fight?”

“Once the strike has ended and we can start making films again, naturally,” Raj Kapoor said.

 
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