For a man as remarkably talented as Govinda, it’s quite unfortunate to see this once prolific actor doing very little work today as compared to his contemporaries. Govinda terms it as ‘samay accha nahi hai’. He is also not oblivious to the fact that there exists ‘bhayankar camps’ (fierce camps) in the industry, none of which he is a part of or made a part of. In our 20- minute- long interview conducted on his birthday yesterday, the conversation veered towards camps and Karan Johar when we broached the topic of Salman Khan referring to Govinda as the next big thing after Mithun Chakraborty in one of the previous seasons of Koffee With Karan.
Said Govinda, “If you see, Karan Johar never called me for any of his interviews. He has called comedians, singers, actors, newcomers and everyone else. A time comes when people think if we have to remove an actor from the hero category, you need to start a comedy awards show. And you start a Karan Johar show in which Govinda should never be seen. Throw parties in which Govinda should never be seen. Many such things have happened with me. So I wouldn’t want any newcomers to be Govinda. The tough times that I have seen and which Amitabh Bachchan has also seen is not everyone’s cup of tea to bear.”
When asked if the reason behind his exclusion was because he was not part of the any of the prevailing camps including the Karan Johar one, Govinda said, “These are well educated boys. They have an aim in mind and have brought camps with them. Take a look at all award functions. A person belonging to one camp is giving the award, person belonging to another camp is receiving it, a third one is giving a speech while the fourth one from the same camp is sitting in the audience and clapping. So camps and classes have become important. Even if you are not into politics, you get into it. I have seen that these padhe likho ki team are different. They are lucky. Lekin main burayi main bhi taarif karunga. They must have thought Govinda is not a man of our class. Not as educated as we are. What will he say in his answers? So let’s stay away from him. That’s fine. Earlier I used to feel bad about them not calling me at all. What do they think about themselves, I used to think. But then later I realised they are educated people and I am different. I will find my own path and that would be good. God bless them. Bhayankar camps exist here. Inki badi milli bhagat hai(all are in collusion).Bade chalu hai yeh log. (They are very smart). Mujhe koi gila shikwa nahi hai. (I have no complaints against anyone). I have never got any big directors or producers. The songs I got were the ‘Akhiyon se goli maare’ types. I did whatever I got.”
While camps are difficult to break in for an outsider, Govinda after Partner was seen as having become a part of Salman’s stronghold. But not for long. “There was no chance of me staying in Salman’s camp. I was praised in such a manner that Salman was told you shouldn’t come infront of Govinda. And such similar situations have happened with me even when I worked with Amitabh Bachchan, Sanjay Dutt or Salman Khan. These people have always loved me. Finally, one actor will love another actor only only to the extent to which his own business remains unaffected. And that is not wrong. Salman has always stood by me. And when someone lends me support, I am always with him. Today however I don’t have any expectations from Salman. Because he has been told so much about me that there will not be a chance of us acting again together.”
When asked to name the culprits responsible for driving a wedge between him and Salman, Govinda refused. “You don’t see it like that. It’s all your luck.”
Talking about his next film Aa Gaya Hero, Govinda said, “In this I am playing a police officer. I also want to keep the brand Govinda alive as a hero. When you start making guest apperances in films, people starting talking about you as an actor who is only doing cameos. And before you realise, you will get sidelined.”
For the younger generation, Govinda has an advice. “I wouldn’t want Varun Dhawan to be the next Govinda. To be a Govinda, you have to go through many trials and tribulations. You get to see the bitter truth of life. I don’t want newcomers to go through all that. Govinda is a village bred, uneducated guy who doesn’t have too much understanding of words and who has been misused a lot of times by the educated lot and who despite not being able to stand in politics, won it. All these things shouldn’t happen with amateurs.”