On July 26, 1982, while filming Coolie in Bangalore, Amitabh Bachchan suffered a near fatal intestinal injury, while filming a fight scene with co-actor Puneet Issar. Bachchan was required to fall onto a table. As he jumped towards the table, the corner struck his abdomen. He required an emergency splenectomy. He remained critical ill in hospital, at times close to death. The national hysteria included prayers in temples, offers to sacrifice limbs to save him. And there were long queues of well – wishing fans outside the Breach Candy hospital where he was recuperating.
Two years later Bachchan was faced with another challenge. In 1984, Amitabh Bachchan took a break from acting and briefly entered politics in support of longtime family friend, Rajiv Gandhi. He contested the Allahabad seat of 8th Lok Sabha against HN Bahunguna, former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, and won by one of the highest victory margins in election history 68.2% of the votes. Disillusioned, he resigned after three years but his problems were far from over. Plagued by a court case Bachchan was eventually found not guilty by the concerned judicial authorities.
The parallel film movement started by filmmakers like Bimal Roy and Guru Dutt in the 50’s and flourished by Benegal brigade in the 70’s, art cinema blossomed in the 80’s providing opportunities to filmmakers and actors for immortal films and roles. Directors Shekhar Kapoor, Mahesh Bhatt, Gulzar , Shyam Benegal, Sudhir Mishra, Ketan Mehta, Basu Chatterjee, Basu Bhattacharya and Govind Nihalani made memorable films with memorable performances from Shabana Azmi, Smita Patil, Deepti Naval,Amol Palekar, Om Puri, Naseeruddin Shah and more actors and technicians.
Every decade conjures new images and new sounds. While Amitabh Bachchan was busy with politics and every young actor was aiming at the throne, Mithun Chakraborty defined a new space for himself. He worked with B list directors at his own terms and made them popular with Biddu and Bappi Lahiri, the flavour of the decade music .From ‘Aap jaisa koi hume…’ and ‘Laila o…’ from Qurbani to‘Hari Om Hari…’ and ‘Ramba ho Samba…’ there was no stopping the frenzy.
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