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In a rather innocuous remark, Jaya Bachchan on the Karan Johar's chat show 'Koffee With Karan' remarked that every time when Abhishek Bachchan was being talked about by all and sundry, the reference point for him has been Amitabh Bachchan. No where has she been commented upon, or has been used as a reference point to analyze the growth of Abhishek Bachchan in his acting career. What was left unsaid was that she has also been a catalytic factor but has been left in the background. Has it got anything to do with the fact that the mother's continue to remain in the background per se, and whatever is happening in the case of Abhishek Bachchan is also a symptomatic angst of the Indian society.
Jaya Bachchan is rarely to be seen at the film do's and AB is seen most of the time along with his Junior. While the father has shared the screen space in a number of movies along with the son in Hindi, the son and mother have still to make their appearance together in a Hindi film, though they have appeared together in Bengali films.
Mother's generally are not getting the due accolades which they deserve, take for example Mimoh's case, who is found to be shadowed by Mithun Chakraborty but seldom is Yogita to be seen in any of the appearances. In fact it seems to be a tradition that the star sons whenever they make a debut or they scale the ladder of their careers, seen to be sharing the spaces more with the fathers and seldom with the mothers. Does it mean that the chauvinism and the traditional concepts continue to be operative factors in the industry as well, inspite of the winds of change that industry is experiencing. This lament of Jaya could be that of other star mothers as well, as the star-sons who are the off-springs of an actor father and an actor son are found more with the fathers than with mothers.
Fardeen Khan is mostly seen in the company of Feroze Khan, but seldom can one find Sundari along with Fardeen in the public places, it is the case with Zayeed Khan. These actors also do not seem to lament or have expressed any feeling about the mothers' not being together with them in their periods of glory. Even a Dev Anand's son Sunil Anand, when he made the debut, he was always accompanied by a Dev Anand and never with a Kalpana Kartik. Sanjay Dutt has been the notable exception, as he still hankers about the fact that Nargis Dutt could not survive to see the debut of his son in ROCKY.
This symptom seems to have an interesting flip side, where the female actors are found being accompanied in public spaces more with their mothers than with fathers. In those cases the fathers generally are in the background. But it is an interesting lament that needs to find its exposition by being converted equitable conversion of spaces both for the mother and the father. After all, the child is a construct equally of the mother and the father, and the mother should not be in the background. Probably the lament of Jaya is also a pointer to the way the media takes its positions and it exercises its preferences more through male choices than female choices. Leena Chandrawarkar on her own could not create a space for her son Sumeet Kumar, though he was a celebrated son of Kishore Kumar, but the creation of space was facilitated only when Amit Kumar lend a helping hand to her step-mother.
The statement of Jaya Bachchan should serve as the clarion call for one and all to give the due space to the mother, which is hers, but she has seldom complained about it.