Naseeruddin Shah apologises for calling Rajesh Khanna ‘a poor actor’

Veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah has apologised for his recent comments about late Rajesh Khanna which raked up a controversy. The ‘Ishqiya’ had called Rajesh Khanna “a poor actor” and held the latter responsible for bringing mediocrity to Hindi films in the 1970s.

In an interview to Hindustan Times last week, Shah was quoted as saying: "It was the 1970s when mediocrity came in Hindi films. That's when the actor called Rajesh Khanna joined the industry. For all his success, I think Mr. Khanna was a very limited actor. In fact, he was a poor actor. Intellectually, he wasn't the most alert person I have ever met. His taste ruled the industry."

Naturally, Shah’s views didn’t go down with Rajesh Khanna’s daughter Twinkle and others in Bollywood, including Kaka’s fans. The former actress, who is a successful writer now, lashed out at the veteran artiste on Twitter.

Twinkle wrote, “Sir if u can't respect the living, respect the dead-mediocrity is attacking a man who can't respond." Soon, #RajeshKhanna was trending, with fans of the original superstar of India tweeting their support for the actress and her father.

Filmmaker Karan Johar's also agreed with the actress and wrote, "I agree with you @mrsfunnybones... due respect to seniority but this was in exceptionally bad taste and not becoming of a fraternity member." The columnist also retweeted KJo’s post on her Twitter timeline

Director Kunal Kohli too criticised Shah’s remarks and tweeted, [email protected] the legend of Rajesh Khanna cannot be even mildly affected by the callous words of Naseer Saab.”

Shah later apologised for his remark. Reportedly, the veteran actor said, "I apologise to those who were personally offended, my intention was not to attack him (Rajesh Khanna)," India Today stated in a tweet.

Twinkle had the last word and tweeted again, "All due regard to Mr Shah's reality, mine = a man who loved cinema & did films like Anand, Amar Prem, Kati Patang. Thank u folks for all the love."

Rajesh Khanna died of cancer on July 18, 2012. He was a loner in his last years. The late actor was married to Dimple Kapadia, but their relationship could not survive for long and the couple parted ways, but they never got divorced. Twinkle is his elder daughter who is married to Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar and the duo has two kids. His younger daughter Rinke, who has also acted in a few Bollywood movies, lives in London with her businessman husband and two kids.