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Rajesh Khanna : The man who gave break to Salim Javed!

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Recently Naseeruddin Shah was in news for all the wrong reasons, in an interview Naseeruddin Shah called Rajesh Khanna – Bollywood’s first super star a "limited, poor actor".

After receiving backlash from Rajesh Khanna’s followers all around Naseer apologized and said, "I apologise to those who were personally offended, and my intention was not to attack him (Rajesh Khanna)."

Apart from Bollywood’s first superstar, Rajesh Khanna remarkable contribution to the Bollywood film industry is the introduction of the legendary writer pair Salim Javed, which underlines Khanna’s ear for good scripts.

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In the late 60’s when there was a trend of mediocre scripts with focus primarily on hit music and chocolate heroes and beautiful heroines (For example LOVE IN TOKYO, KASHMIR KI KALI, MERE SALAM, AYEE MILAN KI BELA etc.) Rajesh Khanna changed the trend with an offbeat script ARADHANA (1969).

Later when South Production house Devar Films asked him to act in their film titled PYAR KI DUNIYA, Khanna found many blunders in the script. But since the maker was offering him a huge sum he hired young writer pair Salim Javed to re-write the script. Since Khanna had an excellent ear for quality script he had recognized the talent of Salim Javed, whom the film industry had discarded as writers. Salim Javed did a wonderful job. The film was rechristened as HAATHI MERE SAATHI and was mega blockbuster at box office.

Another incident that points towards Rajesh Khanna’s strong script sense can be gauged from the fact that when Hrishikesh Mukherjee was in despair as everybody from Raj Kapoor to Shashi Kapoor to Kishore Kumar had rejected his script ANAND, it was Khanna, who immediately gave the nod and worked in the film at half his market price!

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Again when filmmaker Shakti Samanta wrote a novel script for the film ANURAAG he was discouraged to make it into films from his near and dear ones including his family. But when Khanna heard the script he was confident of its success and encouraged him to make the film. To support him he even did a cameo in the film to add star valve to an unconventional script. The result – the movie was super hit.

Thus with unconventional scripts like ITTEFAQ, KHAMOSHI, ANDAZ, AMAR PREM, KATI PATANG, DUSHMAN etc Rajesh Khanna brought a revolution in quality content in films..

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