Rajkumar Santoshi Exclusive: ‘Godse’s voice should reach the public, Gutkha sellers cannot be heroes of the country’

Producer director Rajkumar Santoshi has made films with big stars. Now on Republic Day he is coming with a unique film ‘Gandhi Godse Ek Yudh’. He is strongly against the star system in the film industry. He believes that the Hindi film industry is going down the drain by making the hero a god. He spoke openly to ‘Amar Ujala’ before the release of his new film. Told about his film which he was about to make with Amitabh Bachchan. And, also told about the time when Sunny Deol himself took the initiative to make the film ‘Ghayal’ after the producer backed out.

Santoshi ji, who is the real star of a film,

The subject of a film is the biggest star. People demand that stars are needed but they forget that even stars were once new. When Yash Chopra supported Shah Rukh Khan, he became a star. If ‘Baazigar’ is a hit, can we forget the contribution of Anu Malik’s music? Kajol also has a contribution in it, she has also done a good job. Abbas Mustan who directed the film created the entire drama. It is important to understand that if Salman Khan has given a hit film, then not only Salman Khan but the entire team has contributed in it.

So is the star system the reason behind the downfall of Hindi cinema?,

You make a man a god that’s why the industry is going down. Who knew Prabhas before ‘Bahubali’. ‘Kantara’ became such a big hit. Most people would not even know the name of its hero. Today the content is running. Now people will say that it was a hero’s film. I would say it was not his film but the film of the entire team. Film making is my livelihood. But by making ‘Bhagat Singh’ and ‘Gandhi Godse Ek Yuddh’, I felt that I am giving something in return for what I am taking from this world and society. Brave men like Bhagat Singh should be role models for the youth, not these stars who sell gutkha…

It’s been a long time since you made a film,

After ‘Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani’, I was stuck in a film ‘Power’. The film was being made with Amitabh Bachchan, but could not be made. During the same time ‘Phata Poster Nikla Hero’ was made with Shahid Kapoor. In those days it all started that corporate companies used to decide in advance that they want to make a film with such and such star and make the story accordingly. If I go to a producer, the producer will ask what do you want to make, Raj ji? Then it is okay, but if someone tells me with whom you want to make it, then I feel very disappointed.

Yes, you were making Saragarhi too..

I have always had great respect for Sikhs, may be I will be a Sikh in some birth. Whenever there is a disaster, all the Sikhs reach there with a sense of service. I wanted to make this film with new people. I talked to Randeep Hooda for that film. I gave him the role of Ishwar Singh. Randeep is very hardworking, good and honest actor. For two years he remained in Sardar’s getup. We also shot the film for 20 days. At the same time ‘Kesari’ started with Akshay Kumar. Those who invested money in our film backed out. Karan Johar, the producer of ‘Kesari’, should have asked at least once. We are in the same industry but didn’t ask and I was left feeling sad.

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