Case Against Amitabh Bachchan For Singing The National Anthem Incorrectly

If you are the least aware of Bollywood, the source of the world’s largest number of films annually, then you are also familiar with the Bollywood Institution know as Amitabh Bachchan.  There is no other Indian movie star who is more well known. (Sure, my favs might be hunky John Abraham and incredibly handsome Aamir Khan, but let’s not quibble.)  You might recall the unforgettable – if “messy” – scene from “Slumdog Millionaire” when a young Mumbai ghetto kid gets locked into an outhouse as a movie star’s helicopter is landing nearby?  Yes, that would have been Amitabh in the helicopter and that would have been the young version of the film's protagonist game show winner, Dev Patel who escaped rather ingeniously if in a shit-storm - let’s say – from the toilet.  This piece of fiction, however, does let you know how important Mr. Bachchan is to India’s movie industry.  And, as is so often the case with Bollywood’s film families, his wife and son are actors as well.


From The Times of India:

The recent match between India and Pakistan in the T20 Cricket World Cup was special for many reasons. While India's win against Pakistan made it special for obvious reasons, superstar Amitabh Bachchan singing the National Anthem before the match was an icing on the cake. But who knew that this would land Big B in legal trouble?

Yes, you read it right. A complaint was filed against the superstar at Ashok Nagar Police Station, New Delhi on Monday for allegedly singing the National Anthem incorrectly.

Filed by Ulhas PR, the complaint states that Big B took 1 min 22 seconds to sing the anthem as against the 52 seconds as per the guidelines set by Ministry of Home Affairs. Earlier, former Indian skipper Saurav Ganguly had confirmed that Amitabh hadn't charged anything to sing the National Anthem.

Now far be it from me to judge the Indian judicial system, but this seems a tad severe.  Maybe Amitabh was under the weather that day or wanted to do his own version of the National Anthem.  Who cares, right? Besides, I don’t recall his having a reputation for a stellar musical voice.  (BTW: In most Bollywood movies, the stars on the screen aren’t doing the signing.  That is done by “playback singers.”) 

One thing that I do appreciate about the law as it relates to political campaigns in India: they don’t allow candidates to slander and savage their rivals as we do here in the good, old, Free Speech at any cost, U.S.of A.  And I don’t mean just lying or saying something totally false and outrageous like, for example, that Donald Trump molested some 13 year old girl as a rich, entitled youth of 16.  No. Even here that might – but just might – be over the top.  In India, you can be charged with campaign violations for all sorts of things like just calling your opponent a liar, for accusing your opponent of being corrupt, or for creating campaign symbols that look too much like Hindu religions symbols.  Not that any of the thousands of FIR’s (First Information Reports) filed with the police each election cycle amount to anything.  But, hey, at least in India there are some controls over just how much a politician can say and do in their election campaigns before running afoul of the law.

With so much slanderous, bigoted, ridiculous talk that goes on here, would that we had something similar here in the United States of America. This plus a legal limit of six months for campaign durations. 

Have a nice day!  Go watch “Slumdog Millionaire” again!   


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