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This Is How Amitabh Bachchan Got His Famous Surname

Now we know.


Did you know that the Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan was the first bearer of the surname ‘Bachchan?’

No? You’re not the only one. Almost no one did until the cinema icon himself revealed the story just recently.

Amitabh Bachchan And His Surname

The veteran actor shared the fascinating story behind his surname on his personal blog.

The 76-year-old actor began by stating that ‘Bachchan’ was actually his father Harivansh Rai Bachchan’s pen name.

Mr. Rai was a famous poet and ardent opponent of the prevalent caste system in the country. And like most writers and poets, he too put down his thoughts under a pen name.


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From Pen Name to Family Legacy

He explained that the caste system has been in the region for hundreds of thousands of years – followed diligently by many and now defied by many too.

Like his father before him, Amitabh says that he is completely against this division.

The veteran actor got poetic about his father:

“Babuji was born in a Kayasth home and a Srivastav. But his temperament was always against the ailment of caste, his nome de plume, his ‘takhallus’ his pen name he designed as ‘BACHCHAN.'”


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It is a common practice between poets and writers of great eminence. They take on a name of their choosing as a ‘pen name’ and are often remembered by it, he explained.

“So ‘Bachchan’ became my Father’s pen name, his poetic nom de plume but it lent credence of its concept later when I was born, on being admitted to my first school, and being asked by the teachers what surname of this boy was to be filled in the admission form my Mother and father had a quick discussion and it was decided that ‘Bachchan’ would be the family surname.”


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Mr. Bachchan concluded:

“And it has remained so and shall remain so… My Father… the Bachchan (and) I the proud bearer of this surname.”

Written by Raza Rizvi


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