And it was advice that came straight from his heart and was shorn of any trace of theatrics. Mr Gandhi was asked to shoot one question to Shah Rukh, who was declared NDTV's 'Actor with the most impact on Hindi Cinema' award at a function here last week. ''I am normally the person who is asked questions. Tonight I have been asked to ask a question and unlike the rest of you I am going to keep it simple. What's one piece of advice you have towards politicians?'' asked Mr Gandhi, a Congress General Secretary.
Pat came the reply from the mega star: ''...let's not take money under the table and you know and let's not do shady stuff. If we do it right we are all going to make money, we're all going to be happy and we're all going to be a great and a very proud nation. So my advice to all the politicians is that please be as honest as is realistically possible.'' The Bollywood icon said the only idea would be ''just to work honestly and have pride in the nation, love the country and have a wonderful wonderful country.'' As for himself, he said, ''I lie and cheat and do deceit for a living, I am an actor so I am all show. There is nothing concrete inside me you know. But I'd like to say that I have a huge amount of respect for people who run the country and who have it in their hearts to run their country.'' In a lighter vein, he said he was without work right now, and held Finance Minister P. Chidamabram responsible for it.
''I would love to work but I think I have over-exposed myself last year, so most of the producers, directors are not signing me.
Until Mr. Chidambaram lowers the taxes, I guess none of the producers can afford me. So I am just out of work right now,'' he told NDTV when asked about his plans for the current year.
The programme is to be telecast by NDTV on January 26.
On receiving the special award on behalf of the 'Chak De' team, he said it was best performance this year, but he would like do better next year.
''You know actors are greedy so they always believe that the next one is the better one but this is the proudest nicest coolest 'beardest' role...Well it is the nicest roles I have played. I feel I have grown as an actor because of what Jaideep did, Shimit did, Adi did and these girls did. So I have learnt a lot. Hopefully I will be able to use that as an actor and do better.'' ''When India wins the 20-20 word cup and other matches and says 'Chak De India', does that do something for you? ''Oh it's only because of me. It's all because of me,'' said the actor, jokingly.