Amitabh Bachchan - Early Life

Early Life

See also: Bachchan family

Bachchan was born in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, in north central India. His father, Harivansh Rai Bachchan, was a Hindi poet and his mother, Teji Bachchan, was a Sikh from Faisalabad (now in Pakistan). Bachchan was initially named Inquilaab, inspired from the phrase made famous during the Indian independence struggle, Inquilab Zindabad, which means "long live revolution". However, at the suggestion of fellow poet Sumitranandan Pant, Harivansh Rai changed the name to Amitabh which means, "the light that would never go off." Though his surname was Shrivastava, his father had adopted the pen-name Bachchan (meaning "child-like" in colloquial Hindi), under which he published all his works. It is with this last name that Amitabh debuted in films, and, for all public purposes, it has become the surname of all members of his family. Bachchan's father died in 2003 and his mother in 2007.

Amitabh is the elder of Harivansh Rai Bachchan's two sons, the second being Ajitabh. His mother had a keen interest in theatre and had been offered a role in a film, but preferred her domestic duties. She had some degree of influence in Bachchan's choice of career because she always insisted that he should take the centre stage.

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