Bollywood’s Amitabh Bachchan becomes farmers’ star after clearing loans

Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan wrote in his blog this week that he had helped 1,398 farmers from the northern state of Uttar Pradesh and felt a ‘sense of accomplishment.’ (AFP)
Updated 21 November 2018
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Bollywood’s Amitabh Bachchan becomes farmers’ star after clearing loans

  • Farmers and other agriculture workers together make up about half India’s 1.3 billion people
  • Bachchan wrote in his blog this week that he had helped 1,398 farmers from the northern state of Uttar Pradesh and felt a ‘sense of accomplishment’

CHENNAI, India: Bollywood veteran Amitabh Bachchan was hailed on Wednesday as a star of India’s farmers after clearing loans worth more than 40 million rupees ($560,000) as an agricultural crisis forces many rural workers into extreme poverty.
India’s farmers have been hit hard by a drop in commodity prices, stagnant wages, record fuel prices and high fertilizer costs, sparking rallies across the country this year calling for better prices for produce and loan waivers.
Farmers and other agriculture workers together make up about half India’s 1.3 billion people.
“It is a very big problem that has left farmers across the country in dire straits,” Rakesh Tikait, spokesperson of the Bhartiya Kisan Union (Indian Farmers’ Union) told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in a phone interview.
“The government policies are flawed and need an overhaul. We are fighting for that change but are thankful for any help that comes along the way.”
Tikait said Bachchan’s gesture might have been symbolic but it meant a lot for farmers who were struggling to survive.
More than 12,600 farmers and agricultural workers committed suicide in 2015 alone, accounting for about 10 percent of all suicides in India, with almost 60 percent of suicides caused by bankruptcy and indebtedness, according to official data.
Bachchan, one of Indian cinema’s most revered actors, wrote in his blog this week that he had helped 1,398 farmers from the northern state of Uttar Pradesh and felt a “sense of accomplishment.”
“Gratitude leans across to the desire of removing some of the burdens that farmers continue to suffer ... and the inner peace it generates when the desired is completed,” he wrote.


Donald Trump, ‘Holmes & Watson’ win Razzie worst film awards

Updated 23 February 2019
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Donald Trump, ‘Holmes & Watson’ win Razzie worst film awards

  • The tongue-in-cheek Razzies, created in 1980, serve as an antidote to Hollywood’s Oscars
  • Winners are announced before the Academy Awards ceremony — the highest honors in the movie industry

LOS ANGELES: US President Donald Trump and a comedic movie take on Sherlock Holmes on Saturday topped the annual Razzie awards for the worst performances and films of 2018.
“Holmes & Watson,” starring Will Ferrell and John. C. Reilly, was the biggest “winner,” taking four trophies including worst film and “worst rip-off.” Reilly also was named worst supporting actor in what Razzie founder John Wilson called the “clueless parody” of the classic British detective tale.
The tongue-in-cheek Razzies, created in 1980, serve as an antidote to Hollywood’s Oscars. Winners were announced a day before Sunday’s Academy Awards ceremony — the highest honors in the movie industry.
Trump won two worst actor Razzies for appearing as himself in the 2018 documentaries “Death of a Nation,” from conservative film maker Dinesh D’Souza, and liberal Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 11/9.”
White House aide Kellyanne Conway was voted worst supporting actress for her archival footage in “Fahrenheit 11/9.”
In an unusual twist, Melissa McCarthy was deemed worst actress, for her puppet comedy “The Happytime Murders,” as well as getting the Razzie Redeemer Award for her Oscar-nominated role in literary drama “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
“Gotti,” about late New York Mafia boss John Gotti, escaped with no “wins” despite getting six nominations, including worst picture, actor and “worst screen combo” for stars John Travolta and his wife, Kelly Preston.
Nominees and winners of the Razzies are voted for online by around 1,000 Razzie members from 24 countries, who sign up online and pay a $40 membership fee.