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Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan, easily considered to be India’s greatest actor of all time, has just carried out an act that has simply wowed the globe.
76-year-old bollywood legend has cleared more than 40 million rupees, that’s $560,000, worth of debt owed by farmers, amid a wider agricultural crisis that has forced many rural workers into extreme poverty.
He wrote in his online blog that he had "taken care" of 1,398 farmers in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, where Bachchan was born, by paying off their debt.
"Gratitude leans across to the desire of removing some of the burdens that farmers continue to suffer from...and the inner peace it generates when the desired is completed," Bachchan wrote.
For decades now, India’s farming industry has been blighted by drought, the depletion of the water table, declining productivity and a lack of modernisation. More than 50% of India's population is involved in the agricultural and allied sector, which contributes 18% of the country's GDP.
Farm suicides have been linked to debt - at least 300,000 farmers have taken their lives since 1995
In his blog, Bachchan added that banks had issued the farmers with a one-time settlement document and certificate. He cleared loans that were owed to the government-owned Bank of India paying due worth over 40 million rupees.
Considered a national institution, "Big B" as he is fondly called, has starred in over 200 movies. He also hosts the Indian version of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" and recently spoke on air about his intentions to help farmers in Uttar Pradesh after a farmer appeared as a contestant.
Indian farmers have battled against a variety of hardships in recent years, brought about by a combination of monsoon-damaged crops, rising fuel costs and lack of adequate state support. As a result, thousands of farmers have fallen into debt.
In 2016, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised to boost the country's agriculture sector with a target of doubling the income of farmers by 2022.
From Amitabh Bachchan to Arjun Kapoor, Vyjayanthimala to Kriti Sanon, Lata Mangeshkar to Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Neeta Lulla to Shiamak Davar, Ramesh Sippy to Madhur Bhandarkar - as many as 50 celebrities are a part of a special video to be played at the launch of actress-politician Hema Malini's biography here on her 69th birthday on Monday 16th October.
The launch of the book ‘Beyond The Dreamgirl’, by former editor of Stardust and producer Ram Kamal Mukherjee, also marks the celebration of Hema Malini's glorious run of 50 years in Indian showbiz.
"While we were planning the book launch on her birthday, we realised that Hemaji will be completing 50 years in this industry in 2018. So we decided to make it special for her, and took this Herculean task to get 50 celebrities to wish her on her biography, birthday and golden jubilee year," Mukherjee said.
"It will be a very big surprise for Hemaji, because we have recorded bytes from people whom she would probably not expect," he added.
The video campaign was spearheaded by Aritra Das from Assorted Motion Pictures. He roped in five media students - Christopher Noel D'Souza, Riona Mariette Gomes, Iqra Laique, Vadin Gear and Savio Gerhert from Don Bosco Mumbai, to work on this project.
The video will be played at the launch of the book, which is published by Harper Collins India, and comprises her journey since childhood to her recent political sojourn as a BJP MP of Mathura.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has penned the foreword for the book, while the afterword is by Ramesh Sippy, who directed her in the iconic role of Basanti in ‘Sholay’.
Songstress Lata Mangeshkar has said: "Hema is like my younger sister. I have always admired her for her grace and beauty. Recently, she shared her music album with me. I was surprised to hear her voice. She is so melodious. Wishing her long and healthy life."
Actress Vidya Balan said: "Hemaji you have set really high benchmark for all of us. 50 years in this industry is not an easy number to achieve."
Arjun said: "You have been our inspiration. I have fond memories of you as a kid, as we grew up with Esha and Ahana."
Having started her film career in 1968 with Raj Kapoor-starrer ‘Sapno Ka Saudagar’, Hema regaled movie buffs with roles in films like ‘Seeta Aur Geeta’, ‘Sholay, ‘Dream Girl’, ‘Satte Pe Satta’ and ‘Naseeb’. An accomplished classical dancer, Hema Malini earned the epithet of 'Dreamgirl' for her flawless beauty, and became a pioneering female superstar in an otherwise male-oriented film industry.
After playing a Bal Thackeray doppelganger in Ram Gopal Varmas 'Sarkar' series, it is time for the indefatigable Amitabh Bachchan to play yet another real-life character.
In the film, directed by Nagaraj Manjules yet to get a title, Big B plays Vijay Barse who more than a decade ago, established the Nagpur based NGO Slum Soccers, which helps slum kids find their bearings through the game of football.
Though he is more than happy to speak about his adulation for Bachchan, Manjule is reluctant to talk about the project he will start shooting with the megastar in October.
"Let's just say, it is based on a real-life character. But the way I've written the part and the film, it moves very far away from the original source," he said.
Manjule has been writing his new Bachchan film for a good two years.
"And before that I was researching on the subject. I don't mind spending time on my script. I spent a good eight years on the script of Sairat. I wrote it with only Bachchan Saab in mind. I've been his fan from childhood.
"I grew up copying his clothes, speech and mannerisms from Majboor and Deewaar. I'd go to school with my shirt tied like Bachchan Saab in 'Deewaar' and get severely reprimanded by my teachers. But the punishment had no effect on me. I'd still do it," he said.
Manjule, a self-confessed Bachchan bhakt, says when he met Bachchan he was somehow able to control his adulation.
"I don't know how but I managed to remain calm, restrained and dignified. I actually wanted to jump out of my seat and dance around him. But I narrated my script in an even tone. I am happy I did that. I didn't want to come across as just a fan. Of course I am a fan for lifetime. And someday when I complete my film with him I'll tell him how much effort it took me to not gush and rave when I met him for the first time," he said.
Bollywood celebrities, including Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan and Akshay Kumar say they are "proud" of the Indian women's cricket team for their good game at the ICC Women's World Cup final at Lord's in London.
Though India lost by nine runs after looking good for major part of their 229-run chase, celebrities have shown their love, support and admiration for the team.
Here's what they tweeted:
Amitabh Bachchan: Until you lose, you shall never know the joy of victory! Well played ladies. Bhartiya Nari Zindabad!
Akshay Kumar: Even broken hearts can laugh! These women have started a revolution and I couldn't be more proud.
Priyanka Chopra: Well played women in blue. It's been an incredible journey and you will always be an inspiration for girls across India.
Shahid Kapoor: This team has woken us all up to women's cricket in India. Great game girls. Almost had it. Proud.
Shah Rukh Khan: I wish I was there to give the lovely ladies a hug. Be proud girls. We have achieved greatness today. BCCI women, you've made all Indians proud.
Shraddha Kapoor: It's okay team India. You girls made it to the finals! That in itself is such a proud moment. Womens' World Cup 2017. Girl power all the way.
Deal Global Fashion Pvt Ltd in association with HT Most Stylish awarded Abhishek Bachchan and Alia Bhatt as the HT 'Most Stylist Male and Female Trendsetters' of the year. Vibrant patterns along with light and bright colours ruled the ramp. Other celebrities spotted on the red carpet were Amitabh Bachchan, Jitendra Kapoor, John Abraham, Asha Parekh, Randheer Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor, Kajol, Ajay Devgan, Jacky Shroff, Varun Dhawan Sidharth Malhotra, Anushka Sharma, Rani Mukharji, Dipika Padukone, Tapsee Pannu, Soumya Tandon, Kailash Kher, Prachi Desai, Isha Gupta, Shradha Kapoor, Shahid Kapoor, Ayushman Khurana and Mandira Bedi.
Megastar Amitabh Bachchan, on completing 47 years in the Indian entertainment world, said he is thankful to Mumbai for giving him all that he has today.
Bachchan made his film debut in 1969 as a voice narrator in Mrinal Sen's award winning film ‘Bhuvan Shome’ and has starred in approximately 230 films.
Big B shared a photograph across social media from the 1969 film ‘Saat Hindustani’, which marked his acting debut in Bollywood - the film was directed by Khwaja Ahmad Abbas.
"Goodness me... 47 years in the industry for me," the 74-year-old captioned the image.
In his long journey in filmdom, the multi-film-award-winner has worked in mega blockbuster titles like ‘Kabhie Kabhie’, ‘Bombay to Goa’, ‘Zanjeer’, ‘Deewar’, ‘Sholay’, ‘Silsila’, ‘Naseeb’, ‘Don’, ‘Muqaddar Ka Sikandar’, ‘Kabhi Kushi Kabhi Gham’, ‘Black’, ‘Pa’ and ‘Piku’ – just to name a tiny few.
"47 years of my life in this city of Mumbai that gave me all that I possess now, that engulfed me in its warm and affectionate embrace, nurtured me, protected me, pushed me, kicked me, reprimanded me, raised me to heights and crushed me with my falls, allowed me to make a beginning with the first film in profession," Big B wrote on his blog.
On the work front, Amitabh is currently gearing up for working with superstar Aamir Khan in the upcoming film ‘Thug’.
Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan has always expressed his desire to work with the younger stars, and now it seems like his concupiscence is coming true with Parineeti Chopra.
After looking like a fatherly figure for Deepika Padukone (in Piku) and Kangana Ranaut (for an advert), Amitabh Bachchan and Parineeti Chopra have now teamed up for the Hindi remake of a Hollywood film.
Big B confirmed on a micro-blogging site that he’s been cast for the Hindi voice of Stephen Spielberg’s fantasy adventure ‘The Big Friendly Giant’.
Reliance entertainment has a Pan India release for this friendly giant movie in four languages - English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu. The movie is all set to release in India on 15th July.
Amitabh Bachchan becomes the first Bollywood personality to score 20 million followers on Twitter
Megastar Amitabh Bachchan has become the first Bollywood personality to score 20 million followers on Twitter and has thanked his fans and well-wishers on reaching the milestone.
The 73-year-old thespian, who has given hits like “Sholay”, “Deewar” and “Piku”, is ahead of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has 18.8 million followers, as well as actors Shah Rukh Khan with 18.6 million, Aamir Khan 16.9 million, Salman Khan 16.8 million and Priyanka Chopra with 13.2 million followers respectively.
Big B took to Twitter on 22nd March to express his excitement of getting 20 million followers on the micro-blogging website.
“Badumba! 20 million! Thank you all… Now to 30 million! And your time starts now!” Amitabh Bachchan tweeted.
Amitabh Bachchan’s Twitter account went live in May 2010, and the actor has ever since been staying in connection with his fans, whom he fondly calls his “ef” or his “extended family”.
On the work front, Amitabh will next be seen in “TE3N” directed by debutant Ribhu Dasgupta. The film also features actors Vidya Balan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui.
He is currently busy shooting for Shoojit Sircar’s next production venture “Pink.”
HERO: Akshay Kumar came in at number nine with earnings of $32.5 Million
Shah Rukh Khan came in at a respectable number 18 with earnings of $26 Million, tying with Will Smith
The much-coveted Forbes lists grab international attention every year, and this year is no different. Its list of the highest paid actors from around the world, and has just released its rankings for 2015.
This year’s top dog has not yet been dethroned - for the third year in a row, veteran actor Robert Downey Jr. has held onto the number-one spot, bringing in a reported $80 million.
While many of the usual suspects made the list once again, 12 new names made the list of 34 actors this year (filling 25 spots due to nine ties), five of which hail from the juggernaut that is Bollywood. And clearly Bollywood is on the rise: three of those five not only made the list, but cracked the top 10!
Beating the likes of Mark Wahlberg ($32 Million), Johnny Deep ($30 Million), Leonardo Dicaprio ($29 Million) and Daniel Craig ($27 Million) hail our much-loved heroes Salman Khan, Amitabh Bachchan and Akshay Kumar.
Salman Khan and Amitabh Bachchan, both with earnings of $33.5 Million each, made it at joint number seven position.
SURPRISE: Ranbir Kapoor’s entry was the eyebrow raiser with his earnings declared at $15 Million
Arguably India’s King Khan - superstar Salman Khan has appeared in some 80 movies since his 1989 breakout role ‘Maine Pyar Kiya.’ Khan continues to produce and star in films, earning well for roles in flicks such as 2014’s ‘Kick.’ He also appears on the small screen hosting reality show ‘Bigg Boss,’ the Indian version of ‘Big Brother.’
Khan’s ‘Being Human’ clothing line clocked $30 million in 2014 revenue, with proceeds going to his foundation. He makes bank endorsing other brands including Thums Up (India’s Coca-Cola) and Suzuki.
Bollywood’s most iconic star, Amitabh Bachchan, has starred in more than 150 movies in his 50-year career. He continues to earn top rupee for his roles in flicks such 2014’s ‘Bhoothnath Returns.’
Though Indian movies gross far less than U.S. films at the box office, they recoup costs by selling satellite rights to TV channels. But unlike the U.S., where first dollar gross deals are a thing of the past, Bollywood stars such as Bachchan continue to earn a cut of each film’s ticketing revenue. Bachchan bolsters his earnings as the longstanding host of India’s version of ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?’ (‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’), which aired its eighth season in 2014.
TIE: Salman Khan and Amitabh Bachchan, both with earnings of $33.5 Million each, made it into the global top ten Forbes highest paid actors list
Akshay Kumar came in at number nine with earnings of $32.5 Million. Having appeared in some 150 movies since his 1992 breakthrough in ‘Khiladi’, he is one of Bollywood’s busiest leading men, filming an average of four movies a year. Kumar earns top rupee for roles in 2014 movies such as ‘Holiday’ and ‘Entertainment.’ Kumar bolsters his earnings hosting Indian reality TV show ‘Dare 2 Dance’ and endorsing products that align with his action hero status, such as Honda motorcycles, a range of white vests and a brand of steel pipes, among others.
Not surprisingly, with his international shows and lucrative brand endorsements, Shah Rukh Khan also made the list. SRK came in at a respectable number 18 with earnings of $26 Million, tying with Will Smith and beating Hugh Jackman, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck.
But the most surprising pay check of all was young Ranbir Kapoor’s. His entry into the Forbes list at number 30 raised some eyebrows - with earnings of $15 Million. Though he made less than his compatriots, he still out-earned American actors Chris Pratt, Chris Evans and Hong Kong star Andy Lau.
The Forbes list measures money earned from June 1, 2014 to June 1, 2015 before subtracting management fees and taxes; figures are based on data from Nielsen, Box Office Mojo and IMDB, as well as interviews with agents, managers, lawyers and stars themselves.
TIE: Salman Khan and Amitabh Bachchan, both with earnings of $33.5 Million each, made it into the global top ten Forbes highest paid actors list
THE BACHCHANS: Aishwarya Rai and husband Abhishek Bachchan welcomed their guests to the party at their home
Tinsel town’s hottest celebs at big festive bash!
Amitabh Bachchan held his annual Diwali party at the most-famous Bachchan residence in Mumbai, last week.
With legends from every corner of tinsel town being spotted, the guest list included Shah Rukh Khan, Gauri Khan, Salman Khan, Deepika Padukone and her beau Ranveer Singh making an appearance in the same car looking rather royal, Bajrao Mastani was written all over the duos outfits!
While Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif also kept it low key on their arrival together, but still managed to smile at the paparazzi in style.
The grand affair brought together every bollywoodian’s dream of all the stars that we admire in one big bash!
With Deepika and Kareena Kapoor wearing the same designer Sabyasachi, Deepika attended the Bachchan bash in a black and gold sari accessorising with trendy Amrapali jewels. Kareena decided to celebrate the occasion with her family and friends, in a private affair, possibly in a ‘Nawab’ style.
The highlight of the night was Sonakshi Sinha’s selfie that went viral on social media, after it was posted on Instagram by Shilpa Shetty. With Sonakshi posing like a true ‘selfie queen’ and photo bombing the selfie that included, Preity Zinta, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Hrithik Roshan, Shilpa Shetty and well known designer Manish Malhotra. We have to say it looks like they all had a blast!
PHOTOBOMB: Sonakshi Sinha photobombed Shilpa Shetty's pic with Preity Zinta, Aishwarya Rai, Manish Malhotra and Hrithik Roshan
The Shahenshah of Bollywood, Amitabh Bachchan, spoke about working as the paranormal avatar in ‘Bhootnath Returns’, which releases in cinemas worldwide on 11th April 2014.
Talking fondly about working closely with child actor Parth Bhalerao in the film, he said: "I believe the younger generation has a much brighter future than we had.
“Look at them… their confidence, they rarely have inhibitions while acting or in general in front of the camera. That’s something which keeps us older actors on our toes! The younger lot impresses me with their sharp skills and how confidence comes naturally to them.”
“Look at them… their confidence, they rarely have inhibitions while acting or in general in front of the camera. That’s something which keeps us older actors on our toes!”
The film's message, he Resonates with the current situation in India and urges everyone to go and vote. We should all be a part of the system and participate actively. The fearlessness and simplicity of the child protagonist should inspire and motivate us."
Speaking about the genre of children-centric films in Indian cinema, he explained, “Although children's films have been in the past too, I still feel that there is a serious dearth of films which are made for children or have a child artist as one of the main protagonists.”
Mr Bachchan is well-known to have taken to social media like a fish to water. Commenting he said: "I think social media has immense and underestimated potential.
“Twitter and Facebook have given me an Extended Family (EF) as I call it. It connects not only me to the rest of the world but also people connect and form bonds with each other.
“I have numerous stories where they have bonded and met each other. I think it is a wonderful concept!"