Today on the occasion of Dr Rajkumar Birthday celebrations just want to share / recall one big incident which most of them knows reflects that Dr Raj greatness when it comes to Moral, Principles & Ethics follow not only in the films he acts but also in Real Life.
Miss World 1996 Beauty Pageant was first time held in India ( unfortunately that only last ) that too in Bangalore which was chosen because of its cosmopolitan culture & in its early transforming years into Silicon Valley what known today to the World.
This was brought by Celebrity Actor Amitabh Babchan through his floated Entertainment Company called “Amitabh Bachan Corporation Limited” [ABCL] and Karnataka State Government which was led by Chief Minister J.H. Patel welcome the move since it had great potential for Bangalore to grow in terms of Tourism, Infrastructure & Hospitality etc sectors.
But after its announcement many pro Women Organizations & Social activists hit the streets against of the conducting Beauty Pageant not only in Bangalore but India of moral & cultural differences which led even ransacking of ABCL office in Bangalore opened in Richmond Road also threaten of many organizations leaders and members of suicide and grate crashing the venue with bombs scare which was KSCA / Chinnaswamy Stadium.
These threats made additional burden to both organizers & State Government to conduct event under tight security by deploy Police/ CRPF personnel’s including private bouncers from Mumbai and some gadgets which is now very common but those days it all cost in crores.
But in spite of all above Incidents Amitabh Bachan was very keen that Dr Rajkumar should be the Chief Guest for the opening ceremony of Miss World event to be held on 23rd Nov 1996 at KSCA and made a personal visit to his house by felicitating him for the Dadasaheb Phalke Award he was conferred in that year and gave this proposal which also was great opportunity for the Kannada Thespian to know his identity to the World thru Electronic Media which was in its early stages and for this event Channel Zee was to go live in 80 + countries first time for opening ceremony.
And for this event Judges were Actor Aamir Khan , Aishwarya Rai [ Miss World 1994 Title ] if right she had not made her film debut , Sri Lankan Cricketer Sanath Jayasuriya , Godrej Company Chairman Parmeshwar Godrej , Vijaya Mallya etc.
But since many were protesting this on ethics and cultural issue Dr Rajkumar stayed away from the opening ceremony not to hurt anyone sentiments since it involved some women groups and Amitabh Bachan also respected his decision and took it in positive way which did not harm their relations & family bonding in anyway which even today still continues with the Dr Raj sons.
This information nowhere today documented or available in today’s online / digital mode but many would know about this including D Raj family members, Amitabh Bachan, Print Media etc of those times
(Article by Ajay KR)