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    Politicians, journalists malign me: Govinda

    [Interview by Subhash K. Jha]
    Friday, November 04, 2005
    Actor and Congress MP Govinda, accused of having links with the underworld, is furious at a section of politicians and media that he says are trying to kill his career.

    The actor, known for his comedy films, has indeed had a spell of bad luck. His wife and children miraculously survived a terrible road accident while driving to Ajmer, while 10 members of his family have died in the last one year.

    Govinda told IANS that he was determined to take on his detractors.

    The actor, elected to the Lok Sabha from North Mumbai last year, is looking to make a comeback in films. He is upbeat after signing movies with directors like Aparna Sen and Nikhil Advani with whom he has never worked before.

    Excerpts from the interview:

    You're being branded anti-national on the basis of a video clipping showing you with Dawood (Ibrahim).

    This is nothing but murky politics. I'm being maligned in the garb of ideology. Politicians are giving lofty statements. Where was the ideology of these moralistic politicians from non-Congress parties when we actors were besieged by calls and threats from the underworld? Why weren't we actors provided with security so that we didn't have to dance to the tune of undesirable elements?

    If his subjects are under threat, isn't it the king's responsibility to protect them? Why did we feel so insecure and threatened? 'Kalaakar mulayam dil ka hota hai...' (An artiste has a tender heart.) I'm about to come back to films. According to me, this is the reason why certain politicians and TV journalists got together to damn me.

    This is very un-entertaining cricket!

    I remember some years ago I had met a prominent politician at a party. He had said: 'Hum wapas aane nahin denge aapko film line mein!' (We won't let you return to films). I had taken this as a joke. Now I see he was serious. I've never misbehaved with any politician or journalist in my life. I've never been cruel or unfair to anyone. Yet life has been very unkind to me in recent times.

    One after the other, 10 members of my family have died in one year. It's frightening. But what to do? I've to face it. Recently my family was in a terrible car crash. My wife and two children escaped unhurt although the car somersaulted three times. I don't know how their lives were spared. 'Bhagwan ka chamatkar tha!' (It was divine miracle.)

    But I lost a dear friend in the accident. I've got at least 20-25 yagyas performed for the safety of my family. I've gone to numerous temples and dargahs to seek blessings. 'Kahin na kahin buzurgon ka aashirwaad kaam aa gaya.' (Somewhere the blessings of elders helped me).

    This too shall pass.

    Yes, my mother's blessings are with me. I spend about four hours a day in prayers. I've no other means of protecting myself. It's the love of my family that's protecting me. I've to worry about protecting them.

    Are you planning legal action against the channel that (showed you in the company of Dawood)?

    Why should I take the matter in my hands? 'Sab kuch main hi karunga to ooparwala kya karega?' (If I do everything, what will god do)?

    The channel has threatened to expose more of your alleged underworld connections.

    The conspirators are the creators of this fiction about me. How they intend to carry forward the plot is up to them. One thing has been established... These people have been after me for years. The series of tragic incidents in my life cannot be a coincidence... But I'm again signing good films. And some people don't seem to like it. It's quite obvious the attack on me isn't fair or honest.

    Is Sonia Gandhi with you?

    Of course! People who are playing gods are actually doing the opposite deed. I won't let Soniaji's image be tarnished by anything I do. This is a far larger conspiracy than it outwardly seems. I don't look at what people are doing. I look at my destiny. 'Agar mera bhagya achcha hoga to kya bigad dega mera koi? Agar kharaab hoga to cheenti bhi zindagi kharaab kar sakti hai.' (If my fortune is good, who can harm me? But if it is bad, even an ant can cause harm.)

    Is there any possibility of you resigning as MP?

    If my elders in the party want it I will do so. But I don't want people to say I ran away scared. I won't give up and make things easier for my detractors. I've no enmity with anyone. In politics or life there are no permanent friends and enemies.

    Though Shatrughan Sinha belongs to the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party), I've learnt something invaluable from him - 'dushmani kayee raaston se aaye, magar dosti ka ek raasta khula rahe'. (Enmity can come through many paths but you should always leave a path open for friendship.)

    You're making a comeback to films?

    I'm now working with my old friend David Dhawan and two directors I've never worked with - Nikhil Advani and Aparna Sen. In spite of doing 125 films I've never got any awards. My bad destiny. Perhaps Aparnaji will change that for me. I love the subject narrated to me. I feel my luck is about to change. I can feel it coming, no matter how much I'm harassed and victimised.


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