The son of Kamal Amrohi, Meena Kumari’s former husband, is stunned by journalist Ashwini Bhatnagar claiming to have penned a biography on the legendary actress without the estranged family’s consent
By Mayur Lookhar
A row has erupted over actor, producer Prabhleen Kaur’s planned web series on the iconic actress Mahjabeen Bano, better known by her screen name Meena Kumari. As reported by Khaleej Times, Prabhleen Kaur has confirmed plans for producing a web series with a feature film also in the pipeline. Kaur’s web series is based on the book ‘STARRING… MAHJABEEN AS MEENA KUMARI’ by journalist Ashwini Bhatnagar.
“Happy to share I have signed a most gratifying film-web series deal with Bollywood’s top producer for my book on legendary actress Meena Kumari. Thank u LOCKSLEY HALL PUBLISHING and @SuhailMathur for their their unstinted support,” tweeted Bhatnagar.
Tajdar Amrohi, whose father Kamal Amrohi was once married to the legendary actress, has taken a strong objection to this web series and the planned film.
“I have no idea who is this man [Bhatnagar] who claims to have written a biography on Meena Kumari. I have never met him or the producer [Prabhleen Kaur Sandhu] in my life. How can they make any content without the consent of the family?,” Tajdar told Beyond Bollywood.
Tajdar fears that the web series will project his late father in a negative light.
He issued a statement strongly condemning the makers of the web series, “I came across a news in the media that someone is planning a biopic on the life of Meena Kumari based on some book. I also read that the story also talks about my illustrious father filmmaker Kamal Amrohi as a tormentor of the late Meena Kumari.”
Speaking to Beyond Bollywood, Tajdar termed these stories as baseless. “The claims that my father tormented Meena Kumari is totally baseless. My father never drank alcohol. Nor did he ever hit his wife, us or anyone. In his time, a lot of gossip was written about him. Maybe because he was a private man and never socialized. But he never cared about them. He never read such articles. When I used to bring up such articles to him, he used to ignore them saying that if writing inaccurate stories helps them [journalists] earn their daily bread, then so be it.”
Tajdar has threatened legal action if any fake news/gossip is presented as facts in the web series. “If anybody else tries making it, I shall sue him/ her. I’m the only heir of my parents,” Tajdar told us via a text message.
He also revealed in his statement that he’s already associated with a top production house to make a love story on his father and step-mother.
“Let me make it clear that no historical facts about my parents can be used and any inaccuracy will attract legal action. As the living heir of the family, I have already entrusted the rights of the real story of Kamal Amrohi and Meena Kumari to a reputed production house and a personal friend of mine,” Tajdar said in his statement.
He added, “For the first time, audience will be witnessing a heart wrenching love story with trials and tribulations of the real characters of Indian cinema of that era. It will be mounted on a lavish scale depicting the golden era of Indian cinema. The thorough research by me and people from that era is complete. You shall soon hear about the cast and credits,”added Tajdar.
Meena Kumari is counted among the legendary actress of all-time. Kumari married screenwriter-filmmaker Kamal Amrohi in 1952. Together, they had collaborated for the epic love story Pakeezah . Kumari and Amrohi’s rumoured tumultuous marriage was often the talk of gossip magazines then. Kumari left Amrohi in 1964. The actress lived the rest of her life in solitude. Three weeks after the release of Pakeezah , Kumari passed away on 31 March at the age of 38 due to liver cirrhosis.