Amitabh Bachchan braces himself for politics


MUMBAI: Ever since he relinquished politics in 1987, Amitabh Bachchan has steered clear of all political issues both on and off screen. Now that will change.

Never before has Bachchan been on the road promoting a film for so long and that too for a tour where he will be asked scathing questions on a political issue.

However, for Prakash Jha’s Aarakshan, whose promotion were postponed until the release of Bbuddah Hoga Terra Baap, Bachchan now hits the road with a vengeance. Without a break, he will be traveling across Indian cities. The tour will keep Bachchan away from home for a large part of August at a time when he would like nothing better than to stay home at Jalsa with his son and daughter-in-law Abhishek and Aishwarya during this time before he becomes a grandfather.

Unfortunately the younger stars of Aarakshan – Saif Ali Khan, Deepika Padukone and Prateik Babbar – are busy elsewhere and not able to join the Aarakshan team for promotion.

Jha tells, “They’ll join us as and when they’ve the the time but right now it’s Bachchan Saab and me all the way, right till the release of the film.”

Beginning 27 July, Bachchan and Jha leave for a 8-city tour of North and Eastern India. Touring to promote films is not a major event. What Bachchan plans to do during the course of the Aarakshan tour certainly puts this particular promotional jaunt in a category of its own.

Apparently Bachchan will be addressing handpicked gatherings of intellectuals and academicians in colleges and universities all across the country regarding the state of education in the country.

The cities where he will stop over to discuss the reservation issue include Delhi, Lucknow, Patna, Bangalore and Kolkata.

A source informs, “Prakash has not planned routine press conferences and Q&A sessions for the Big B. The star will be asked hard-hitting questions on job-reservation and he will have to go fully prepared. Prakash has sent Big B a large amount of research material on the job-reservation issue and he has been going through it all diligently. This is the first time he will allow himself to be grilled on a political issue.”

When contacted, Bachchan says, “Yes, I am undertaking a tour across North India. I will get the details shortly. I just landed from Jaipur after a visit to Ajmer Sharif. I’m now discussing the strategy with Prakashji.”