The recent revelations by Aamir Khan’s younger brother, Faisal Khan, that his family kept him locked up for a year, and also forcefully gave psychiatric drugs is the latest in a sibling fallout that first came to light over a decade ago.
The ugly family episode that played out in public included charges by Faisal that Aamir was ingesting him with medication to ‘make him mad’ and a bitter custody battle for the former fought between the latter and their father, Tahir Hussain.
In addition to screen rivalry, each generation of popular films is also denoted by some kind of epic fallout, mostly off-screen that often ends up defining the era in the minds of fans. At times, such rivalries and fallouts happen within the same family.
When it comes to sibling fallouts, the Nutan-Tanjua episode ended up becoming one of the most talked-about events in the 1950s and 1960s as both the sisters were carving out their legacies. The comparatively introverted Nutan had a falling out with her mother, Shobhna Samarth, and was never close to her sister, Tanuja, who was more of an extrovert.
Unlike Tanuja and Nutan, who rarely competed for the same roles, in the 1970s, brother Feroz and Sanjay Khans enjoyed on-screen rivalry.
In the same decade, Raj Kapoor had famously chastised this brother, Shashi Kapoor, for overworking. This was a phase when Shashi Kapoor was doing nearly four shifts a day and did not have dates for months on end to take any new project. The elder Kapoor claimed that his brother was nothing more than a taxi for hire as he was constantly running from studio to studio.
In the 1980s, for a brief period, there were rumours about a fallout between Rishi Kapoor and his younger brother, Rajiv. It was said that Raj Kapoor had originally planned Henna (1991) with Rajiv as the lead but following his death when the eldest son, Randhir Kapoor, took over the mantle, Rishi stepped in as the lead.
The late 1990s and early 2000s hinted at a fresh onscreen rivalry between the Kapoor sisters - Karishma and Kareena - as they would have been in the running for the same kind of roles. However, before it could take any concrete shape, Karishma bid adieu to films after her marriage to the Delhi-based industrialist Sanjay Kapur.
In 2007, Aamir Khan had lost the custody battle of his brother with their father, the late Tahir Hussain, and the press had gone to town with stories that didn’t show the actor in a good light. Aamir had said to have applied for Faisal’s custody saying that he suffered from schizophrenia-induced fear-psychosis, but Faisal counter-charged that his elder brother fed him medicines for paranoid schizophrenia when he has no such medical condition.
The father had supported Faisal and once he regained the custody of his younger son, he lashed out in the media against the elder one.
By the time the legal battle played out, Tahir Hussain was already remarried and in some way estranged from his family. He had also blamed Aamir’s second wife, Kiran Rao, for creating a rift in the family. Following Tahir’s outburst, the rest of the Hussain family came out in Aamir Khan’s support.
In a press release, the extended family that included mother Zeenat, sister Nikhat, former wife Reena Datta, cousins Mansoor Khan and Nuzhat Khan, nephew Imran Khan and others, expressed ‘utter shock’, disgust and contempt at the public statements of Tahir Husain and Faisal Khan.
Nearly thirteen years later, Faisal’s fresh comments were also directed to towards Karan Johar’s apathy. Faisal mentioned that Johar acted weird and reiterated the presence of bias and groupism in the industry.
Faisal was launched by his father in Madhosh and later Aamir Khan featured opposite him in Dharmesh Darshan’s Mela. Unlike Aamir, Faisal was never able to translate the opportunities into anything substantial.
While Faisal’s comments were more general than specifically directed towards Aamir Khan, at least, in this case, they did highlight the troubled relationship between the two.
More than the content, it’s the timing of Faisal’s comments that couldn’t have come at a worse time for his more illustrious elder sibling. Of late, Aamir Khan has been in the news for reasons besides films - his meeting he first lady of Turkey earned the wrath of netizens.