Amitabh Bachchan insists that throughout his career, he’s always been conscious about what he says and how he says it, whether it is on screen or off. “Just as I have always been leery of explicit love scenes, I do not care for explicit language on screen,” he asserts. So during the narration of the soon-to-release Bbuddah Hoga Terra Baap, when a situation in the story required him to mouth an expletive, he categorically told the director, Puri Jagganath, that he wouldn’t deliver it. Then Puri hit on the idea of replacing the cuss word with a ‘beep’ because that’s what the censors usually do.
In fact, there’s a line in the film in which Bachchan’s character points out that whenever he wants to utter a gaali (abuse), he uses the word 'beep’. This works for him in two ways: Ek meri zabaan saaf rehti hai aur doosra, samnewale ki izzat ka beep lag jaata hai (One, it helps keep my vocabulary clean and second it effectively puts down the one in front of me).
The veteran is alarmed by the fact that there are many who don’t think twice before using bad language on social networking sites like Twitter.
“I immediately block them out no matter what the consequences. And if it is anyone I know personally, I pull him or her up for maligning a public platform. Usually, they apologise,” he says, attributing the trend to infiltration from the west through uncensored content on TV. “Abuses and abbreviated language are not part of our culture.”
Point out to him that Delhi Belly that releases on the same day as Bbuddah Hoga Terra Baap — July 1— is supposedly replete with cuss words and even its chartbusting song, Bhaag DK Bose… is in trouble with the censors, and Bachchan’s surprised, “Is that so? But our ‘beep’ is not a rejoinder to Delhi Belly. The idea came up long before we knew that another film was coming on the same day as ours. It’s kind of a self-censorship and it would be great if the trend caught on with youngsters who believe that it’s cool to litter their lingo with abusive words.”