I would never endorse an intoxicant: Big B
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I would never endorse an intoxicant: Big B

Amitabh Bachchan is en route to obtaining a patent for his distinctive baritone voice, so that it isn’t used commercially without his permission.

entertainment Updated: Nov 23, 2010 15:40 IST
Aalap Deboor
Aalap Deboor
Hindustan Times

Over the years, if there’s one attribute of Amitabh Bachchan’s that the audience has come to associate with him instantly, it is his distinctive baritone. But now, miffed about it being used for causes that he doesn’t endorse, Bachchan is in the process of getting his voice patented.

Besides being routinely imitated in movies and advertisements, Bachchan’s voice more recently has been illegitimately used to promote brands of ‘


and even Basmati rice. While the former uses only a voice imitation, the latter also has a shot of Bachchan’s impersonator on the sets of KBC, with the show’s logo in the backdrop.


“Patenting my voice is a legal process. My company AB Corp manages my brand, and part of its job is to secure all aspects of my creativity. The process will ensure that permission is taken before my voice is used in any manner,” says Bachchan. Several singers and voice-over artistes have imitated the actor in the past. One of them is singer Sudesh Bhosle who has sung for Bachchan in many movies, from


(1991) to

Major Saab

(1998) and

Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham

(2001). The actor has no objections to Bhosle singing in his voice, as long as prior permission is taken and the requisite considerations of the imitation are kept in mind. Giving Bhosle his due, Bachchan says that since he isn’t a trained musician, he doesn’t have any qualms about Bhosle singing in his voice.

“Sudesh singing for me is fine because that’s permissible. But if someone’s going to impersonate me and use my voice for a commercial purpose without informing my company about it, we’re definitely going to react,” Bachchan asserts. He adds, “Using my voice for the ‘


advertisement without my knowledge is illegal because it’s being exploited for a commercial venture. Also, I would never endorse any intoxicant since I don’t drink, smoke or chew ‘


’ If such incidents continue, we will be sure to take action.”

The Basmati rice ad goes one step further by featuring an over-the-shoulder shot of the actor interacting with a KBC contestant. In the show’s question-and-answer format, Bachchan is quizzing a participant about brands of rice. “We’ve already sent them a legal notice asking for the advertisement to be taken off the air. We are now also demanding compensation,” says the star.

First Published: Nov 21, 2010 12:52 IST