Amitabh Bachchan and politics of celebrity

March 30, 2010

Amitabh Bachchan is caught in a political controversy yet again. The 67-year old-actor finds himself in the middle of a row over his presence at government functions in Mumbai and Pune.

Amitabh BachchanWhile no official reason has been given, Bachchan’s presence at a government function in Mumbai last week has raised hackles in the Congress party, ostensibly because of Bachchan’s bitter relationship with the Gandhi family.

Later the same week, his son Abhishek’s posters were removed from an Earth Day function for which he had earlier been declared ambassador, organised by the Congress-run Delhi state government.

On Monday, the Congress party criticised Bachchan for being a brand ambassador for the state of Gujarat, whose chief minister has not been able to shake off the stigma of the infamous 2002 riots.

And Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan avoided the star at a Marathi convention, choosing instead to attend a day before Bachchan’s arrival.

“Am I hallucinating, or is there a pattern in all this!!!??” Bachchan wrote on his blog on Saturday.

Those who have followed Bachchan, or for that matter, the Gandhis closely may know of the bitter rift between the two once close families.

So for the Congress to shun the star seems to follow naturally. This is also not the first political party with which Bachchan has clashed.

Whether it was his campaign for the Uttar Pradesh government, his relationship with Shiv Sena chief Balasaheb Thackeray or the MNS’s violent reaction to his statements, the star has always had an uneasy relationship with the political establishment of the country.

Bachchan’s closeness to former Congress ally Amar Singh and now to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi is also a matter of much conjecture within political circles.

But many are questioning whether it is valid for a political party to question an individual’s choice of friends, or whether Bachchan himself has shifted loyalties once too often.

What do you think? Has the Congress gone too far in “banning” Amitabh Bachchan and his family?


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Congress’ behaviour is pathetic. They should stop before they embarrass themselves further.

Posted by Mekeritrig | Report as abusive

congress is behaving like shivsena of the centre.
the congress leadership is surrounded by feetlickers whose future they feel depends on pleasing the leadership in a particular manner. amitabh is a state subject and the cm is an appointed person by the state subjects. the cms reaction is an insult to all the voters of the state..

Posted by nrs | Report as abusive

if congress think that big B is brand ambassador means he is supporter of godhara riots , then big B was join rajiv’s election campaign and also elected as a MP in rajiv”cong. He must be suporter of riots against Shikh in 1984 is it? we want ans from cong.

Posted by bnpb | Report as abusive

Congress Should not involved to Mr.Bachchan in any types of dirty politics what in the past others party are doing we have to obliged what Mr.Bachchan are given to our country.Mr.Bachchan all the people of the country are standing with you.Shahid

Posted by Motilium | Report as abusive

Congress is off their minds and acting like a cry-baby.How can one of the oldest and a largest political party of this largest democracy in the world be so perturbed by One Person?C’mon what are they being so petty about? Mr Bachchan is the pillar of Indian film industry and we all love him, respect him much more than to think that he is now related to the “Gujarat-riots”. Stooping to low-level of attacking Abhishek Bachchan is just distasteful.As long as Mr Bachchan is not involved in any illegal activities and associations, I don’t really care who he supports and stands-by; it is his prerogative and I trust him on that.I hope our politicians would grow-up and actually help us progress this beautiful country.

Posted by sanchit_6 | Report as abusive