National Award-winning actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui, who essays Bal Thackeray in a film titled Thackeray, says the anger and arrogance of the late Shiv Sena supremo were justified when Maharashtra was going through a bad phase. On his understanding of Thackeray’s character, Nawazuddin said, “I think all his anger and arrogance was justified considering the situation that the society went through during that time. There was a time in Maharashtra when all the mills were shut down and the youth there suddenly faced unemployment.
“Hundreds of mill workers were unemployed. They did not know any other work... For years, they worked with dedication and suddenly those mills were shut overnight and poor, working-class Marathi people were on the road. They were innocents who suffered... Creating jobs was the responsibility of the government and that did not happen. “It was the same time when other communities started flourishing... So, Thackeray took the initiative to give these ‘Marathi manoos’ a direction to live dignified lives. That is how he gained the support and respect of the people.”
The film Thackeray, directed by Abhijit Panse and written by Sanjay Raut, also features Amrita Rao and Sudhir Mishra among others. Does he find a common point between Thackeray and himself as both appeared as a ray of hope — whether it was for the Marathi people or struggling actors? “I did not think and analyze that way at all... I just focused on my work.
Asked if somewhere he brought his own ideology on the table to feel connected with Thackeray’s thoughts, Nawazuddin said: “How can I bring my ideology as a performer when I am narrating someone else on-screen? That is why I do not have any ideology and philosophy as an individual.
“See, I have played Manto (writer Saadat Hasan Manto) Saab, I played Bal Thackeray and I am the same actor who plays Gaitonde (Ganesh Gaitonde in ‘Sacred Games’). I do not think I could justify these characters as an actor if I would have limited and controlled me with one specific ideology.” (IANS)
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