By Arundhuti Banerjee
Mumbai– Bollywood veteran Rishi Kapoor is upset because he feels the government does not treat the artistes’ community well. He feels artistes are not honoured enough in India, the way it happens abroad.
“I really am upset when I think about how our government treats our artistes. We are the nation that is known worldwide for cinema, music and culture. But look at how our icons are treated. Does the government recognise our icons as much as other nations? All the new roads, flyovers, airports are so far named after politicians. Why not name these after artistes?” Rishi, who has a career span of five decades, told IANS.
He added: “We have icons like Pandit Ravi Shankar, Ustad Allah Rakha, Lata (Mangeshkar) ji. (I am) not saying this because they are my family but can you overlook the contribution of Raj Kapoor and Prithviraj Kapoor in the business of entertainment? They are celebrated worldwide but not in my country. Why so?”
Kapoor, who came back from the US after a year, observed how artistes are getting recognition abroad, and the young generation is well versed with their cultural history.
“In the US, there are places named after Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson and many more artistes, and young generation is well aware of their contribution. Here, everything is named after politicians. We have achievers like astronaut Kalpana Chawla. She is an inspiration for many youngsters. How well versed are our kids about her? Politicians are only changing names with an agenda. Our artists are not honoured enough in their lifetime,” said the actor, who has received several awards including the National Award as Best Child Actor for his debut role in “Mera Naam Joker” (1970). He was also conferred an award by the Union Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation for his contribution to the Hindi film industry.
“Unless we make these names popular and put them on public places like airport, roads, school, colleges, how will the next generation understand the contribution of these icons in their respective filed?” questioned the icon who is known for roles in films like “Mera Naam Joker”, “Bobby”, “Karz”, “Kapoor & Sons”, “102 Not Out”, and “Mulk” to name a few.
Currently he is gearing up for his upcoming film ‘The Body’, directed by Jeethu Joseph and co-starring Emraan Hashmi and Vedhika. The film releases on December 13. (IANS)