"I don't think voting needs to be promoted. It is a democratic right, and we should do it," the 71-year-old actor, who once won the Lok Sabha election from Allahabad in 1984, said in an interview here. (JPN/Agencies)
Amitabh had resigned after three years as an MP. He has kept his distance from politics and remained apolitical ever since.
But in reel life, as a 'bhooth' (ghost) in his forthcoming political satire ‘Bhoothnath Returns’, he contests an 'election' to set things right in a corrupt polity.
The film hits the screens Friday. It really couldn't have been better timed - the country is in the midst of the nine-phase Lok Sabha election, involving an 814 million electorate, with 100 million first-time voters and hundreds of candidates.
"That's purely coincidental," he said about the film, adding that "some of the contents of the film are very pertinent to present times".
"Particularly about electioneering; how people must behave during that time; the importance of voting...In fact, in the film, it has been beautifully structured how voting affects the outcome and if you want things to improve or want to be a good citizen, then you must go out and vote," he added.
Amitabh, who has been entertaining Hindi movie buffs for over four decades, says he is "not politically aware". But he hopes that citizens exercise their right well.
"I am not a politician. And I don't follow politics very well," he said when asked to comment on who the "sher" (lion) among Indian politicians was.
His movie, ‘Bhootnath Returns’, magnifies the loopholes in the country's political scenario. In Big B's words, it focuses on "some of the faults and obvious things like corruption; people not doing the kind of work they are supposed to do; and taking up responsibility".
"Somewhere I feel it also rings a bell with reality. If it touches a chord somewhere, I am very happy about it," he said of his expectations from the film's underlying message on the need to root corruption out of the system.
The light-hearted entertainer is directed by Nitesh Tiwari and features child artist Parth Bhalerao in a key role with stellar talent like Boman Irani, Usha Jadhav, Usha Nadkarni and Sanjay Mishra.
A sequel to the 2008 film "Bhootnath", it features Amitabh singing, dancing and entertaining the audience as though he's 17.
"I keep getting work, and once you commit, you have to do it. Till my body is working, I will make it work. When it stops, I will stop working," he said in his inimitable style.
"I don't think voting needs to be promoted. It is a democratic right, and we should do it," the 71-year-old actor, who once won the Lok Sabha election from Allahabad in 1984, said in an interview here.