"I knew Bal Thackeray, so I conceived Bachchan's character" - RGV

Does Abhishek Bachchan's character die in Sarkar Raj?
No, he does not.

So where did that come from?
I've no clue. There's so much untruth floating around the film, I don't know whether to be amused or frightened. They first imagined the hero dies. Then they imagined that the distributors were scared of his death. Everyone has an imagination and the freedom to use it. To take a much larger issue, look at the way the murder of that girl Aarushi in Delhi is being made into a cause for speculation. I've only made a film.

You've said a man could've played Aishwarya Rai's role?
Yes, I have. She has no romantic association with Abhishek's character at all. It's not a conscious decision to keep them away from romance. The emotional aspect of a relationship can be manifested in many ways. In Sarkar Raj, it comes across as drama, treachery, power- play and betrayal. In the light of all these emotions, Aishwarya's relationship with Abhishek is treated very unconventionally. Theirs is not a romantic relationship. Not even a hint of it.

So did you ever actually consider casting a man in Aishwarya's role?
No not at all. It was always Aishwarya. But the very fact that she's a woman would make a subtext in the audience's minds, though she doesn't share any relationship with Abhishek. But if I had cast a man in her role it'd make no difference to the main plot.

How did you resist the temptation to incorporate a relationship between Abhishek and Aishwarya?
It wasn't difficult at all. I don't believe the hero and heroine have to romance. My intentions in Sarkar Raj are not to cash in on star value.

How political is Sarkar Raj?
I don't even know how to spell politics. But yes I do read the papers. And I draw inferences from the headlines. I knew about Bal Thackeray. So I conceived Mr Bachchan. But I don't know the Shiv Sena's ideology or what politics Raj Thackeray represents.

What about the actor Rajesh Shringharpure's resemblance to Raj Thackeray?
See, I've been a fan of Raj Thackeray's personality. I know him for years. His face has stayed with me. When I saw this actor, I immediately saw the resemblance and signed him. On seeing Rajesh, I might have referred to Raj's personality because of their obvious resemblance. I might have incorporated personality traits from Raj Thackeray. But my character has nothing to do with Raj Thackeray's politics.