Amar Akbar Anthony
Scene 1, Take 1
Kishanlal (Pran) walks out of jail after serving his sentence. A chauffeur, he had taken the blame for a fatal hit-and-run committed by mob-boss Robert (Jeevan) on the assurance that the income of the driver’s family would be tripled and they would be looked after.
(Kishanlal returns from prison to find his wife Bharati, played by Nirupa Roy, suffering from tuberculosis and his three sons starving.
Enraged, he confronts Robert and threatens to expose him. A fight ensues and Kishanlal makes off with Robert’s car that has a stash of gold in its boot. Robert’s goons give chase. Kishanlal shakes them off, but goes home to find his wife’s suicide note. Pursued by goons, he leaves his three sons in a park. When he gets back, he finds them all missing. )
Over to Amar (Vinod Khanna) Akbar (Rishi Kapoor) Anthony (Amitabh Bachchan)… and cinematic immortality.
Director: Manmohan Desai
Producer: Manmohan Desai
Writers: Kader Khan (dialogue), Prayag Raj (screenplay), K.K. Shukla (scenario)
Story: Jeevanprabha M. Desai
Story idea: Pushpa Sharma
Mumbai, March 30: One name missing from the blockbuster line-up is Salim Khan, one half of the wordsmith pair who armed inspector Ravi Verma (Shashi Kapoor) with the sledgehammer repartee in Deewaar : “Mere paas ma hai.”
Manmohan Desai and Salim Khan worked together only in a handful of films.
Not bees saal but thirty-eight years later, Salim, who is now better known as actor Salman Khan’s father, was able to plug that celluloid hole with a real-life event involving another driver. Besides, unlike Kishanlal, this driver is telling the truth, according to his submission in the Mumbai sessions court.
On Monday, it was Ashok Singh, the driver who has been with the Khan family since 1990, who stepped forward and told the court that he, and not Salman, was at the wheel when a man was run over in 2002.
Asked if he had been paid money to take the blame, Singh denied the accusation.
“He denied he could give his life for Salman, but acknowledged his loyalty to his family,” public prosecutor Pradeep Gharat said.
So, there is no suggestion whatsoever that Singh was doing a Kishanlal. Rather, according to Singh, he kept quiet for 12 long years because police did not record his initial statement and he did not know how to proceed since then.
The name of Singh, 42, has not figured either during arguments or in evidence put forward by the defence or the prosecution in the last 12 years since the alleged hit-and-run.
But last week, Salman, who has been charged by police with culpable homicide that carries a punishment of up to 10 years in jail, disclosed in court that his driver was at the wheel.
One person died and four were critically injured on the night of September 28, 2002, when the Land Cruiser ran over the pavement dwellers as they slept outside a bakery.
Today, driver Singh told the Mumbai court that the accident was the result of a burst tyre. “A tyre burst and the car was dragged to the left…. I tried to turn the steering wheel but it was hard, then I tried to apply the brakes but by then the car had climbed the stairs of the bakery.
“I was in a state of shock and Salman was sitting on the left side. He tried to open the door but it got jammed. He got down from my side which was on the right,” Singh said, replying to questions from Salman’s lawyer Shrikant Shivade.
Singh said he and Salman tried to lift the car to free those trapped under it but, when they couldn’t, he had dialled 100 for help and then went to Bandra police station, a kilometre away.
He claimed that when he reached the police station, the police told him that a team had already reached the spot. He said he found the police behaviour strange as no one in the police station took down his name.
Singh, who has been in the employment of Salim for the past 24 years, told the court he had come to own up to his role in the accident on the advice of Salim.
The scene from Amar Akbar Anthony, in which Pran confronts Jeevan at his home and reminds him of the promise to pay his family. Jeevan says he doesn’t like people begging and instead they should earn their wages. Jeevan pours whisky on his shoes and asks Pran to wipe it. Pran uses his sleeves — he is still wearing his chauffeur’s uniform — to wipe the shoes, which Jeevan insists should shine so much that he can see his face in it. Jeevan then takes out a coin and flings it at Pran. Tells him that since Pran had said he hadn’t even given one anna, he was now giving him one. This incenses Pran who vows revenge and is thrown out.