Amitabh Bachchan’s advice to a media CEO

8 December 2007

Indian cinema’s biggest star—the BBC’s star of the millennium—Amitabh Bachchan has had a more-hate-than-love relationship with the media, except when the demands of public relations on the eve of a movie release weighed heavy on him.

But in a surprising intervention, Bachchan has spoken out in favour of the beleaguered CEO of Bombay’s Afternoon Despatch & Courier, Farzana Contractor, and commended the way the widow of Behram Contractor conducted herself during her clash with the company’s chairman, Kamal Morarka.

“Despite all the severe criticism and adverse reactions you had to face, you walked with your head held high. One of the most important lessons in life is to just continue walking and do what you have been doing. This puts the opposition and rivals in complete disarray,” Bachchan said, at a food and wine event organised by Upper Crust, the magazine Contractor edits. “Do not get bothered by the questions posed to you. If they are asking questions about you, it is fine. Because it indicates they fear you.”

Sales of ADC, founded 22 years ago by Behram Contractor, who wrote “Round & About”, the paper’s popular column on Bombay life, under the pseudonym Busybee, declined after Behram’s death in 2001. The paper stopped printing on September 27, a few days after Morarka, the larger shareholder, objected to Farzana describing herself as “editor” in a photo caption. Officially, she was chief executive officer of Courier Publications. The company board later removed her.

Also read: Vinod Mehta on the ADC saga

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