New Delhi, Oct 11 (EFE).- The biggest Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan celebrated his 80th birthday on Tuesday with much fanfare in India, a country which worships its celebrities, and especially the veteran actor whose roles have over the years become part of the national consciousness.
At midnight, Bachchan’s fans gathered outside his residence in Mumbai – home to the Hindi film industry – to pay tribute to the actor, while cinema halls and TV channels screened his iconic films spanning over five decades.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the actor, popularly known as the Big B, in a tweet expressing the nation’s admiration towards the star.
“A very happy 80th birthday to Amitabh Bachchan Ji. He is one of India’s most remarkable film personalities who has enthralled and entertained audiences across generations. May he lead a long and healthy life,” Modi said before the government issued an official statement wishing the actor.
Bachchan is among the most well known people in India, with his face symbolizing confidence and a distinguished personality which has been used for advertising campaigns, films, government programs and has kept him relevant in the film industry as well as magazines and TV even today.
The actor rose to fame in the early 1970s with the hit film Zanjeer, playing a police inspector fighting injustice in a corrupt system, beginning his “angry young man” phase that voiced the frustrations and disillusion of post-independence India for decades.
Bachchan, who is the head of one of the most powerful film families along with his wife Jaya, has become synonymous with India’s popular culture.
He is the subject of constant media hype, be it a new character, a new look, an anniversary or some update on his health. After he announced contracting coronavirus during the pandemic, many fans held prayers for his recovery and sent him wishes.
On Tuesday, apart from fans cheering outside the actor’s residence, a ritual was carried out at a “Bachchan temple” established by his admirers in the city of Kolkata, using balloons and offerings to mark his entry into the 80s.
“It is impossible for me to even attempt what your love and affection means to me .. so I fold my hands and pray for all in the spirit of generous gratitude,” the actor wrote in his blog on Tuesday. EFE