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Amitabh BachchanBollywood bogged down by controversies in 2007
22nd Dec 2007  10.01 IST
By Agencies  

Bollywood will not forget the year 2007 very easily as its most known faces spent more time and energy in dealing with controversies surrounding them than in film studios.

While Amitabh Bachchan , Aamir Khan and Rani Mukherjee were told to prove their credentials as farmers for acquiring agriculture land, Sanjay Dutt and Salman Khan were seen coming in and out of jail.

However, the mother of all controversies surrounding Bollywood was the one surrounding India's Oscar entry, Vidhu Vinod Chopra 's Eklavya .The film scraped past Bhavna Talwar's "Dharm" by one vote. Though both movies did not work at the Box Office, critics panned "Eklavya".

A court in Uttar Pradesh in June ruled that Bachchan was not a farmer and struck down the allotment of farmland to him in Barabanki. Bachchan had to give up the claim for land to come out of the case and escape from paying a hefty fine.

After Big B, it was Aamir's turn to come under scanner for purchasing agricultural land in Pune district by allegedly claiming he was a farmer.

Last month, the Ahmednagar district collectorate issued a notice to Rani in the fake land deal case, asking her to prove herself as a farmer in order to be proclaimed as rightful owner of the land.

Rani, who is a strong believer in Shirdi Sai Baba, had purchased 11 gunthas (one-fourth of an acre) for Rs 33 lakh in a village near the temple town in Ahmednagar district in 2005 to construct a bungalow. She paid Rs 1.32 lakh as registration fees.

But now her father Ram Mukherjee has been told by the Collector's office that the land was for farming and hence could not be transferred to Rani's name.

However, there is still some hope for Rani to possess the plot if it turns out as a non-agriculture land.

If Rani is allotted the land, then she will first have to pay extra money according to market rates, as the current price of land there is Rs seven to eight lakh per 'guntha' (around 1,000 sq ft).

Law also caught up with Dutt and Salman for their past crimes. Arrest of both the stars created a flutter in the film industry as almost Rs 100 crore was reportedly riding on each of them.

The annual International Film Festival of India (IFFI), 2007 edition too had its share of controversies with lack of enough mainstream cinema and poor quality of foreign films disappointing the delegates.

In a series of off-screen controversies, BJP leader Gopinath Munde alleged in March that superstar Shah Rukh Khan was among many whom the state government had favoured by allotting reserved land in Mumbai for residential purpose.

SRK again ran into trouble after veteran actor Manoj Kumar threatened to sue him for the latter's alleged derogatory depiction in his film Om Shanti Om .

If this was not enough, the Board of Cricket for Control in India (BCCI) reportedly objected to SRK using international cricket venues in India to allegedly promote 'Om Shanti Om'.

In his reaction, SRK declared that he would never go to watch a cricket match ever. The war of words led to BCCI doing damage control by extending their invitation to the King Khan at the matches.

Another Khan, Aamir, was also seen fighting a personal battle in the court for custody of his brother Faisal Khan. Suffering from schizophrenia, Faisal had alleged that Aamir had ill-treated him.

Known for churning out hits every year, 2007 was disastrous for Yashraj Films . All except Chak De India released under the Yashraj banner commercially failed at the box-office.

'Chak De India' was a major hit in which SRK played the role of the hockey coach who transforms a rag-tag India women's hockey team into world champions.

But small budget films like Bheja Fry , Metro and Johnny Gaddaar did well.

The year, however, belonged to Akshay Kumar , who gave three consecutive hits - Namastey London , Bhagam Bhaag and Hey Babyy - all comedies. His last movie of the year, Welcome , released this Friday also promised to be a big grosser.

The year-end also saw Aamir Khan 's directorial debut Taare Zameen Par , made on differently-abled children. He had earlier turned producer for Ashutosh Gowarikar 's Oscar-nominated Lagaan .

Madhuri Dixit 's comeback film Aaja Nachle was not only a commercial disaster, being the lowest grosser of the year, it also earned the wrath of UP, Punjab and Haryana state governments for alleged insult to Dalits.

On the cinematic front, while it was a good year for small budget films, big budget films barring SRK's 'Om Shanti Om', performed poorly.

Amitabh Bachchan
Aamir Khan
Rani Mukherjee
Sanjay Dutt
Salman Khan
Vidhu Vinod Chopra
Shah Rukh Khan
Om Shanti Om
Yashraj Films
Chak De India
Bheja Fry
Johnny Gaddaar
Akshay Kumar
Namastey London
Bhagam Bhaag
Aamir Khan
Taare Zameen Par
Ashutosh Gowarikar
Madhuri Dixit
Aaja Nachle

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