Amitabh Bachchan turns 77 today. The megastar earlier warned his fans, stating that he is in no mood to celebrate his birthday this year. "What is there to celebrate? It's a day like any other. I'm grateful that I still working, that my body is able to keep pace with my spirit," he told IANS.
Birthdays are meant to cherish the journey an individual has had so far in their fruitful life. For Big B, who has been in the limelight for decades, it wasn't all pleasant. The actor like any other human being faced a massive hurdle that shook him for years. For those who understand that the media holds a special place for legends like him, here's a tale of an era when the media blacked out Amitabh Bachchan for fifteen years.
In the year 1975, India observed Emergency that was declared by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. The Bachchan clan was close to the Gandhis, and reports suggest that Amitabh used his influence to shutdown Stardust magazine. While censorship isn’t new to the press, it was imposed harshly on Stardust for carrying pieces on Big B, especially those regarded by some as a part of Yellow Journalism. The only reason, this ban was exercised with total monopoly is because not many publications covered entertainment news. It was only during the magazine boom in India, Bollywood became a part of the news coverage.
Due to this cold war between the two parties, Stardust along with other magazines came together and banned Bachchan once and for all. However, it was in 1982, when Amitabh met with a fatal accident on the sets of Coolie, and Stardust offered a peace treaty by publishing an article on him. But it continued even after, and finally when Amitabh faced a dramatic downfall in his career post the Bofors scandal, is when he finally sat down with the MD of Stardust Nari Hira and cleared the air, ending the ban of fifteen years.