Naseeruddin Shah on Dilip Kumar op-ed courting controversy: ‘Doesn’t bother me’

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Jul 28, 2021, 01:02 PM(IST)

Dilip Kumar said people from good families should not try to be actors: Naseeruddin Shah Photograph:( Twitter )

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Dilip Kumar died in the early hours of July 7 after a prolonged illness at a private hospital in Mumbai. Naseeruddin Shah has courted controversy after writing an op-ed on the late actor.

Bolywood actor Naseeruddin Shah, who has courted controversy after writing an op-ed on legendary actor Dilip Kumar after his demise, has now rendered a justification to an entertainment website.  

He was quoted as saying, “Those who decided to take offence at what I said about Dilip Saab should have read the entire article and they would have realised that my praise, though conditional, for his acting chops was nothing less than glowing. I practically ran out of superlatives when describing his acting abilities. My 'complaint' had nothing to do with that at all. However, the reaction of people who choose to see meanings where there are none doesn't bother me... I said what I had to say, and if I hadn't meant it I wouldn't have said it.”

He also said that there has never been any feud between him and Dilip Saab (as he was fondly called) and that it was all media’s doing. "The supposed problems we had during the making of a film which I'd rather forget was all the invention of the media and some vested interests who made our working together sound like some sort of acting duel that was to take place, when considering the nature of our respective roles. I actually didn't stand a chance. All this fanned the non-existent flames when the fact was we hardly even met including in the scenes we had together. I don’t consider acting to be a contest or a game of one-upmanship and I was far from happy with all the talk of Dilip Kumar versus me. I have never denied that it was my childhood dream to act with and not opposite him,” said Shah. 
For the uninitiated, Dilip Kumar died in the early hours of July 7 after a prolonged illness at a private hospital in Mumbai. 

In the aforementioned op-ed, Shah had said, “Some of those works doubtless will survive the test of time but, given the position he was in, it is more than evident he didn’t do enough apart from acting and being involved in social causes close to his heart. He produced only one film, didn’t direct any (officially at least), never passed on the benefit of his experience, didn’t bother to groom anyone, and apart from his pre-1970s performances, left behind no significant lessons for future actors; even his autobiography is but a rehash of old interviews.”

“…It’s baffling why a man as conscious of his place in history as he was should be reluctant to record his interaction with some of the admittedly great filmmakers of his time or say anything really informative about the nature of his work and technique. I wish, at some point, he had at least been forthright about the travails involved in retaining legions of devoted fans,” he had added. 

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