August 9, 2012 03:32:14 PM IST By Rajesh Kumar Singh, Glamsham Editorial
The newly appointed Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde snubbed Mrs. Jaya Bachchan during the Rajya Sabha debate on the ongoing communal carnage in Assam. Shinde was replying to the charges made by the leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley and enumerating the steps taken to stop violence and provide relief to the victims. The Opposition MPs did obviously not like his obtuse reply and wanted to rebut him but Shinde was not yielding. In this confusion he started addressing Jaya Bachchan and tried to tell her that she might not understand the serious matters of governance that were far more complex to be comprehended by someone who came from the film industry. This created a storm of protests from Jaya Bachchan and the other members of the Opposition including Jaitley who demanded Shinde's apology for having insulted the distinguished actress. Jaya Bachchan was seen quite agitated over the matter. The house could function only after Shinde apologized and his remarks were deleted from the records.
The Shinde snub must have hurt Mrs. Bachchan more since just recently yesteryear's star Rekha too has been nominated to the Rajya Sabha by the government. It was not clear if she was in the house or not and if she joined in the protest over Shinde's remarks. It is to be noted that the relationship of the Bachchans with the ruling Delhi clan is quite strained and because of that the members of the Congress Party avoid being close to the numero-uno film family. The ruling party has also snubbed Big B in the past. A few years ago an invitation sent to him by the Goa Chief Minister as the Chief Guest of IFFI, Goa, had to be withdrawn presumably at the advice of the I&B Ministry.
(Rajesh Kumar Singh is Editorial Consultant for Festivals and Markets for BollywoodTrade.com. He is a filmmaker, critic and market analyst)