Mumbai: Megastar Amitabh Bachchan has recounted the time when his father celebrated poet Harivansh Rai Bachchan was receiving brickbats for his illustrious book of poetry Madhushala and revealed it was Mahatma Gandhi who came to his rescue.
The 75-year-old actor today recalled the incident at the Benares Hindu University in 1935 where his father was accused of straying the youth of the then British-ruled India by glamourising liquor.
“‘Madhushala’ written in 1933… Yes 1933… 85 years ago… Still bears fruits of its brilliant thought and longevity… Yet when it was first demonstrated to resounding applause and encore at the Benares Hindu University in 1935, or thereabouts, there were the naysayers that brought threat, unsavoury proclamations, in times to come… Complaints were made to the Mahatma – Gandhiji too…
“‘There is this young man that is polluting the youth of the country by aggrandising the qualities of alcohol… Corrupting the young… And must be stopped or arrested. They complained,” Bachchan wrote in his blog.
The star said Gandhi took notice of the “loud voices of dissent” and sent for his father.
“‘I wish to listen to what you have been writing…’ he (Gandhi) addressed when my father was brought before him… He heard several verses from the recitation that day and spoke up…”
Bachchan wrote that after listening close Gandhi said, “But there is nothing objectionable in this…?
“Relieved, my father made a hasty exit from the great man’s presence, fearing if he did not, there could be a possibility of a change of mind…”