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Khader Khan On Amitabh Bachchan: “My Equation With Him Did Not Remain The Same”

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Kader Khan, the veteran actor-screenwriter, passed away in Canada on the New Year’s Eve. While both industry people and outsiders have expressed their condolences, an interview excerpt has emerged where the actor talks about losing out opportunities for not addressing Amitabh Bachchan as sir.

Khan, the screenwriter of several of Bachchan’s hit films like Mukkandar Ka Sikkandar, Amar Akbar Anthony, Sharabi, Lawaris, Satte Pe Satta and Naseeb, was once asked by a South Indian producer if he had met ‘sir ji.’ Kader Khan who was not accustomed to calling Bachchan, ‘sir’, replied “He’s Amit. When did he become sir ji?” To this, the producer responded, “We call him sir ji.” Ever since then, Bachchan came to be called ‘Sir Ji’ said Khan according to reports.

His failure to refer to Bachchan as sir led him to lose out on film opportunities. “That’s why I was not in Khuda Gawah. I only wrote half of Ganga Jamuna Saraswati and left midway. After that I could not write other films too,” said Khan.

Khan went ahead and explained why he couldn’t bring himself to call Bachchan sir. “Can someone address his friend or brother by any other title? It’s impossible. I could not do that. Perhaps this is the reason why my equation with him (Bachchan) did not remain the same.”

The Deewar star, however, was among the people who expressed grief at Khan’s demise.

Khan had been suffering from Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, a degenerative disease that causes loss of balance, difficulty in walking and dementia, for some time. He was hospitalised after he complained of breathing difficulties and the doctors  shifted him to the ventilator.

Kader Khan was born on October 22 1937, in Kabul. He made his acting debut in Rajesh Khanna’s Daag in 1973. Since then has starred in over 300 films. Khan’s career was at its peak during the 80s and 90s, when he began collaborating with David Dhawan and Govinda.

“He treated me like his own. He was my hero,” said Dhawan.

Kader Khan is survived by his wife Hajra, his son Sarfaraz, his daughter-in-law and grandchildren.

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