Saturday, February 23, 2013

142. Our actors and English

I find it very amusing that most of our Hindi film actors  prefer English while speaking in public. I notice that even if they are asked a question in Hindi, the answer is invariably in English. At award functions, when they are honoured for their roles in Hindi films, their acceptance speeches are usually in English. One suspects,  they may have got offers from Hollywood and may be preparing for a switch. The truth is, most of them are going to stay put in Mumbai for all times to come.

I wonder, how their fans connect to them. Or are the fans happy just looking at their idols - ready to suffer mumblings in a language foreign to them? At least, the actors are expected to try and strengthen their bond with their fans by speaking in a language the fans understand.

Perhaps, the actors feel that speaking in English will make their fans look at them with awe and admiration. After all, in our idols, we are looking for traits that we ourselves don't possess. They have to be on a higher pedestal. They have to be different from us and say things we don't understand. This is what earns them respect- not as actors but as intelligent people. So, if they speak in English, we respect them not just as actors, but also as intelligent people.

Amitabh Bachchan seems to be one of the few exceptions. He often speaks in public in simple Hindi. This rare respect for Hindi may be the influence of his father Harivansh Rai Bachchan, renowned Hindi poet. Despite speaking in Hindi, Amitabh has tremendous fan following. His fans call him 'Big B', 'Star of the Millenium' and what not. Maybe, this is because he is too good an actor and does not require the crutches of the English language. The other reason could be that he too occasionally speaks in good English. So, everyone knows that he can speak in English, but has chosen not to.


Tamasha-E-Zindagi said...

काफी तो ऐसे हैं जिन्हें हिंदी आती ही नहीं | अंग्रेजी पैदाइश जो होते हैं | कुछ नाटक करते हैं हिंदी न आने का | और बाकी कई ऐसे हैं जो बकैत होते है भेडचाल के चलते बकना उनका काम होता है | जो दिल से हिन्दुस्तानी होते हैं और हिंदी की इज्ज़त करते हैं वो ही हिंदी में बात करते हैं |

सुन्दर लेख | आभार

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sahi bat khate hain hindi ka par bat english me karte hain....

R. Ramesh said...

u have a point sir...but i think v can welcome use of any language as long as it is genuine communication and not for style..

Ruprekha said...

Absolutely, agree fully. You said it! Can see this same trend here too among the regional actors.
Liked reading your post.
In fact, visiting your space after a long gap. Workload kept me off blogging for a while.