Words of gratitude from senior Bachchan

Published: April 28, 2014
Amitabh’s larger-than-life persona has earned him the status of an unprecedented icon for the public. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

Amitabh’s larger-than-life persona has earned him the status of an unprecedented icon for the public. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE


In a move that will hopefully augur well for the Indo-Pak peace process, Senator Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain invited Amitabh Bachchan to visit Pakistan, where the megastar’s ancestral roots can be traced back to. “Since your mother was born and bred in the Faisalabad district of Punjab, you should come here and visit the places where your mother spent time. Your visit will also promote peace between the two countries,” he wrote to Amitabh.

Expressing his gratitude on receiving the invitation, Amitabh recently wrote back to the Senator. Although the letter is careful both in tone and content, it is inarguably a great gesture on Amitabh’s part. In the letter, he shares the fond memories he has of Pakistani people, recalling the prayers that they extended to him during his injury on the sets of Coolie (1983).

The superstar hasn’t specified a date or even stated ‘if’ he will be visiting the country soon.

But if Amitabh was to visit, what could it mean for his fans in both India and Pakistan? Amitabh’s larger-than-life persona has earned him the status of an unprecedented icon for the public. Interestingly, many people live vicariously through their idols in the industry; they internalise the experiences of those who they admire. Amitabh’s visit would expectedly help in neutralising the image of both the countries in the eyes of their people.

A copy of the letter that Amitabh Bachchan sent to Senator Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain. PHOTO: FILE

In an earlier interview with Express News, Amitabh shared, “I would love to see an exchange of artistes between India and Pakistan. You (Pakistan) could learn something from us (India) and we could learn something from you. This would benefit everyone.”

Over the past few months, there has been an inflow of notable Indian artistes in Pakistan. Veteran actors Shabana Azmi, Naseeruddin Shah and Om Puri are among those who recently visited the country in an attempt to strengthen the often challenging Indo-Pak relationship.

As mascots of change, they called for peaceful co-existence with unswerving faith. Not only are their efforts appreciable, but also timely. Amid rising concerns that the expected victory of Bharatiya Janata Party’s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi in the ongoing Indian general elections won’t bode well for Pakistan, cultural diplomacy has become more important than ever.

So, we hope that Amitabh graces the people of Pakistan with his presence soon.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 29th, 2014.

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Reader Comments (21)

  • Fawad
    Apr 28, 2014 - 10:32PM

    Anyone can go & meet Chaudry shujaat at his address in this letter!


  • Sunny Loni (London)
    Apr 28, 2014 - 11:07PM

    Getting a bit tired of all this Bollywood appeasement now…


  • Dreamer
    Apr 29, 2014 - 12:07AM

    @Sunny: I completely agree. Dear India, please keep your actors and movies. We have moved on to movies from Turkey, a brother country with whom we share so much.


  • Adnan Siddiqi
    Apr 29, 2014 - 12:28AM

    This is what PML-Musharraf League had to end up like.


  • Huma
    Apr 29, 2014 - 2:19AM

    Amitabh Bachchan or other Indian actors, singers etc are welcome to visit Pakistan any time.
    I understand Amitabh is a big star in Pakistan, but really the gushing and the excitement should be toned down. This reads similar to an article from Seventeen magazine about Justin Bieber. Tribune journalists should report in a mature fashion instead of like giddy teenage reporters.


  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Apr 29, 2014 - 3:09AM

    Amitabh Bachchan is most welcome in our country. He is one of the finest actors and a very honourable person. He has given us tremendous joy and happiness for so many years. It will be a great honour for us to host him.


  • water bottle
    Apr 29, 2014 - 8:39AM

    @Ch. Allah Daad:

    Good that you are welcoming him. You will do well to know that he is a Modi’s friend.Recommend

  • Shola e Jawad
    Apr 29, 2014 - 8:57AM

    @ Dreamer

    How is Turkey a brother country with whom you have nothing in common, even the Islam practiced in Turkey is different. Whereas India and Pakistan are part of a contiguous territory with a shared heritage, language and culture.


  • Kazmis
    Apr 29, 2014 - 9:42AM

    Amitab Bachhan can never visit Pakistan in his lifetime as the BJP Govt is coming in India soon.He can face trouble while living in Bombay.


  • Raj - USA
    Apr 29, 2014 - 9:43AM

    I recall what the “Time” weekly in US wrote about him many years ago when Amitabh Bachchan was at the height of his career. Their reporter who came to interview him was amazed to see Amithab Bachchan was acting in so many movies at the same time. They were amazed how he is able to switch effortlessly from one role in a movie to a totally different one for another movie in a short time. The weekly said that Amitabh Bachchan is not just an actor, he is an entire industry because through his acting career and movies he is providing employment to so many in India. In the early 90’s Amithab Bachchan went almost bankrupt because he lost huge investment he had made in an Indian TV channel here in US. He bounced back again with his show “Kaun Banega Karorpati”.


  • A Pakistani
    Apr 29, 2014 - 12:58PM

    ^ while reading comments above i was thinking why are we so jealous? I love his movies, admire his acting skills..he has that charisma one could imagine..and i’d love him to visit Pakistan..it doesnt matter if artist is from India or Turkey..btw let Pakistan aside, Turkey is not even close to what Indian Film Industry has produced yet.


  • Sola
    Apr 29, 2014 - 2:37PM

    Chaudhru Saab, you used to denounce India over Kashmir. Now why is your letter silent on this issue? What hypocrisy.


  • SI
    Apr 29, 2014 - 4:46PM

    For all the AB crazy fans, good news is that now you have AB’s residence & office numbers written at the bottom of the letter! :D


  • Ahmed
    Apr 29, 2014 - 5:38PM

    Please tell me what we share with Turkey? Is it language? Is it culture? Is it values? Is it geography? Is it history? Is it music? Is it films? Is it art? Is it sports?

    Sorry but I see NOTHING in common. Getting tired of this baseless wannabee-Turkey/Arab/Persian mentality, baseless I would emphasize.

    Just to remind you, we can’t even watch Turkish movies without first translating them! So please tell me how we share so much with Turkey.

    Have I grown up in the same Pakistan as you?


  • someone
    Apr 29, 2014 - 7:02PM

    I would have believed you if Turkish movies or soap operas were being shown in Pakistan without dubbing or sub titles.


  • Jai
    Apr 29, 2014 - 7:22PM

    Let all stars of Bollywood visit Pakistan. Unfortunately Mr. Nawaz sharief is obsessed with Kashmir issue since he is a Kashmiri, that’s why we cannot have good relationship between two countries. We Indians have no plan to take over Pakistan but to be friendly neighbours. Kashmir in India or Pakistan doesn’t make much difference what is important that people are happy and prosperous. Hope that we have open borders. Let along with him Sharukh khan, Salman Khan and Aamir Khan also visit Pakistan.


  • gp65
    Apr 29, 2014 - 9:01PM

    @Sunny Loni (London): Inviting an individual actor is appeasement of Bollywood? Seriously?

    @Kazmis: Why would Amitabh face trouble while living in Mumbai because BJP government is in power and in what way would it impact his ability to visit Pakistan if he chose to? You have provided no logic to substantiate your absurd claim.

    @Dreamer: Ummm…it is YOUR senator who wrote to AMitabh and AMitabh was polite in his response. Why this provokes such rudeness from you, I do not understand.


  • Wallis
    Apr 29, 2014 - 10:44PM

    Shola Jawad,

    Go and watch the interivews of Turkish Prime Minister and other government delegations that visit Pakistan.

    You must also know that their are many words in urdu which are turkish.

    Yes offcourse Pakistan does share several things with India but Pakistan is mix country which shares its border with Iran and Afghanistan also.


  • sharabi
    Apr 30, 2014 - 5:21PM

    How Pity of you, Let the Pakistani artists earn their Bread in India, let Pakistani artists achieve the Fame in India (which most of them deserve) & Let people of India enjoy them.
    Actually i am fed up people like you. Just let me listen Nursat Fateh Ali khan & Atif Aslam.
    I have no problem if any Pakistani artist can earn millions in India.


  • Awais
    Apr 30, 2014 - 11:33PM

    Please go ask a Turk if they share something with you or the Saudis you so keenly adore, and you will get a nice does of reality. Stop being embarrassed of yourself and stop trying to be like those who want nothing to do with you. Subcontinent is here we are from and Islam is our religion, besides religion we share everything with the countries of the sub Continent. Don’t let your hate an ignorance eradicate your identity, or maybe you already have.


  • IndianDude
    Apr 30, 2014 - 11:57PM

    @Sunny Loni (London)
    ….Getting a bit tired of all this Bollywood appeasement now…
    @Sunny: I completely agree. Dear India, please keep your actors and movies. We have moved on to movies from Turkey, a brother country with whom we share so much.

    That’s right! And dear west, keep your automobiles to yourself, will be riding camels imported from brotherly country.


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