Last month I was traveling. While going out of Mumbai, I came to know about pitiable condition of veteran actor Shri Avtar Krishn Hangal, aka A. K. Hangal. I was saddened and felt ashamed that such a veteran actor should be almost begging for his medical and other expenses. When I wrote an obituary to Nalini Jayawant, I mentioned that it is duty of CINTAA [ Cine & TV Artistes’ Association ] to look after its ailing members and aging veterans who have no one to look after them. Nalini Jayawant died in her bungalow and world came to know about it after 3 days. There was no one in her family and her body was wrapped in a bed sheet and was taken away by BMC people. CINTAA maintained an enigmatic silence, Now barely a month passed and tragedy struck the industry again. 90 years old actor A. K. Hangal’s son gave a statement and sought help for his ailing and aging father, who is unable to earn because of his advance age and failing health.
I saw Hangal Sahab’s photo and read about his economic condition and was aghast. Film fraternity ran to his rescue in full force. His colleagues and filmmakers, with whom he had worked , immediately donated money and pledged support. Some filmmakers also came forward to help, even though they hadn’t worked with Hangal Sahab.
It was very heartening and satisfying that the industry rose as one family and magnanimously helped one of its infirm and ailing veteran member, who is unable to earn because of his advancing age.. Government of Maharashtra also pitched in and a decent sum was given to Mr. Vijay Hangal, son of Hangal Sahab.
Only worrying part in this episode was the behaviour of his communist colleagues. Hangal Sahab is a member of Communist Party of India. He was an active member of IPTA [ Indian Peoples Theatre Association ] also and worked in many plays for them. Throughout his active years he supported them wholeheartedly and they conveniently forgot him at the time of his need. There was no clamour for his help from the communists. No word of support at his hour of distress was heard from the comrades. There was baffling and intriguing silence in the camp of comrades. When this veteran actor was fighting for his survival, another prominent proletariat [ ? ] Shabana Azmi was busy organizing a fashion show with the help of a prominent fashion designer Manish Malhotra. Because of her standing in the industry, she was able to have 39 prominent Hindi film stars for her show. Bourgeoisie [ ? ] like Mr. Amitabh Bachchan and Mr. Aamir Khan rushed to help Hangal Sahab and a proletariat [ ? ] like Shabana Azmi was busy inviting 39 prominent stars to walk the ramp for Manish Malhotra.
May I ask the reason of this silence? May I know the cause for this apathy? It is shameful and disgusting. Communists are born opportunists. They use people and when they find them worthless, they dump them nicely. This what they have done to Hangal Sahab.
Thank God ! India is yet to become a communist nation. Thank God ! USSR [ Union of Soviet Socialist Republic ] does not exist any more. Thank God ! Lenin and Stalin have been nicely consigned to the dustbins of history. Thank God ! Dictatorship of the proletariat is not the norm in our society.
MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA
- Aamir, Big B offer support to Hangal (thehimalayantimes.com)
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