On a recent episode of her daughter Navya Naveli Nanda’s podcast, Shweta Bachchan Nanda spoke about how she’d get beaten up as a child by her mother, Jaya Bachchan. Shweta said that she was the punching bag of the family, while her brother, Abhishek Bachchan was mostly left alone. But this isn’t the first time that the Bachchans have spoken about this topic in public.
In an appearance on Rendezvous with Simi Garewal in 2004, Shweta and Abhishek joined their parents Jaya and Amitabh Bachchan, and the host revisited old comments made by Jaya about thrashing Shweta as a child. As Jaya giggled while Shweta accused her of whacking her, Simi asked, “I want to ask you, he’s admitted that he was a monster of mischief, and you’ve said that Shweta was a lady, then why did she get whacked, and not Abhishek?”
Shweta replied on her mother’s behalf. “I’ll tell you,” she said, “Because I was the older one, I had to set the example.” Abhishek added, “I was the baby of the family. She was more protective about me than anybody else.”
Jaya said that while Abhishek was ‘naughty’, he wasn’t a ‘brat’. Shweta made a face at this, but her mother forged ahead, “Shweta was very, very difficult with me. In the sense that, it was like, ‘why are you doing this?’, and she’d say, ‘because I feel like it’. She thought she could talk to me (like that). Sometimes, it’s the weakness of the parent.” Amitabh said that Shweta was never difficult with him, and joked that it would be a ‘joy’ for Navya, when she eventually watches this interview. Incidentally, the topic was brought up on her podcast just last month.
Shweta had said about her mother, “She was very particular about extra-curricular. I had to do Bharatnatyam, Hindi classical music, swimming, sitar, and piano.” She continued, “But she was very free with her slaps, I got slapped a lot. The ruler got broken on me once. She used to beat me a lot.”
And Jaya reasoned, “She was very annoying and stubborn. Honestly, I realised parents hit children when they are angry with themselves because they are incapable of handling a situation. So, the only reaction is… The frustration gets out like this.”