When Bihari babu struggled with Bhojpuri
Kolkata: Famous as the `Bihari Babu`, veteran film actor Shatrughan Sinha had to train himself to speak flawless Bhojpuri while shooting for `Ke Bani Crorepati`, the Bhojpuri version of popular game show `Kaun Banega Crorepati`.
"When I began preparing for the show, I was out of practice in speaking Bhojpuri. I used to speak in Bhojpuri with my mother and some relatives. But, of late, I lacked practice in the language. I had to practice to speak it before a national audience," Sinha told reporters.
"Had this been in Hindi or even in Bengali, it would have been easier. But Bhojpuri was a new challenge for me," he said.
Bhojpuri is spoken by over eight crore people in the country, mainly in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
Describing the language as that of the masses, the cinestar of yesteryears known for his unconventional and witty style, also demanded its inclusion in the Eighth schedule of the Indian Constitution.
"We should support and encourage the language. Many smaller languages which are spoken only by a few lakhs have been included in the eighth schedule but Bhojpuri is spoken by crores and is still missing from the list. I hope that good sense will soon prevail," the 65-year-old `Shotgun` said.
On the format of the TV show, which has been shot in Kolkata and will be aired on Mahuaa TV from June 6, he said the Bhojpuri version is for the `aam aadmi`.
"It is a common man`s platform. It aims to reach the rural India, where almost 75 per cent of the people reside. Bhojpuri is also the language closest to Hindi. Even those who don`t speak Bhojpuri, understand it," he said.
On comparisons with his contemporary Amitabh Bachchan, who will be hosting Hindi edition of the show on Star Plus, he said both of them are legendary actors and capable of entertaining people.
"He has a good sense of humour, drama, a command over the language, eloquence. Even I have it. But I have more experience of public life than him," Sinha said while admitting that he was initially reluctant to do the show as he had never hosted a gameshow before.
"Then I thought it suits me socially and even politically," Sinha, who is also a BJP MP, said.
Bollywood star Govinda, singer Udit Narayan, former finance minister Yashwant Sinha and Shatrughan`s daughter Sonakshi Sinha will be among the celebrities taking part in the gameshow.