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Abhishek's back row blues...

And dad Amitabh gets snubbed receiving his Best Actor award for Black at the 53rd National Film Awards function.Amitabh Parashar tells more.

india Updated: Sep 17, 2007 11:35 IST

It wasn't exactly glitzy. The 53rd National Film Awards for 2005, presented after a year's delay recently because of legal issues, was conducted with tight security arrangements at the Vigyan Bhavan. But hang on, there were the majorly curious moments.

Not so friendly
Practically everyone at the two hour event noticed that the Minister of Information and Broadcasting Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi did not shake hands with Amitabh Bachchan when the actor was on stage to receive his Best Actor Award for Black.

Despite the obvious snub, Bachchan, accompanied by buddy Amar Singh, fetched up for the shortest time at the dinner hosted by the minister.

For once Amar Singh did not throw a fit because Abhishek Bachchan and sister Shweta Nanda had been seated in a far-off row in the large auditorium. It was left to a rather giggle-happy Nafisa Ali to break protocol and bring the Bachchan kids to one of the front rows.

Meanwhile Jaya Bachchan and Amar Singh, both wearing dour expressions, were seated in the middle of the auditorium-seats reserved for MPs. Usually, the Bachchan family expects to be seated in the first row of any award event they attend. Seating Abhishek far off from daddy was not expected.

Ministry officials said this was done because the actor was expected to attend the function with Aishwarya Rai - and they did not want the photographers to clog the front area.

President Pratibha Patil was gracious and referred to Bachchan in her speech but in the same breath as Mrs Kher (Kirron Kher) who was there to collect her husband Anupam Kher's Special Jury Award for his performance in Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Maara.

Naseeruddin Shah, Nagesh Kukunoor, and Sanjay Leela Bhansali did not show up to collect their awards.

Calling it unfair
According to a source in the ministry, Shyamli Bannerjee a critic, was not invited to attend the function. Security had been instructed not to let her in just in case she protested in the auditorium against the Best Actor trophy for Bachchan which she considered unfair.