Jaya Bachchan apologises for ”anti-Marathi” remarks

September 9th, 2008 - 12:27 pm ICT by ANI  

Raj Thackeray

New Delhi/Nasik, Sept 9 (ANI): Jaya Bachchan has reportedly apologized for her alleged “anti-Marathi” remarks at a recent film function in Mumbai, saying that she didnt intend to hurt the people of Maharashtra .

According to reports, Jaya has said in an interview to a newspaper that she was sorry if she has hurt the people of Maharashtra . She, however, clarified that she was misunderstood and that her comments were actually hinted at those Bollywood actors who despite working in Hindi films prefer to talk in English during interviews. She has also said that she can never insult Mumbai or the people of Mumbai because the city has given her everything.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray has reportedly asked Jaya to apologise publicly.

Amitabh Bachchan and his family had faced a boycott threat of their films after angering the MNS, which recently protested against millions of migrant workers in Maharashtra .

Bachchan, who hails from Uttar Pradesh and found fame and fortune in Mumbai, has become a lightning rod for critics, who say immigrants have sidelined the local people from the Maharashtra .

The latest row erupted after Bachchan’’s actress-politician wife Jaya Bachchan spoke in Hindi at a Bollywood function in Mumbai on Saturday, prompting Thackeray to issue the boycott threat.

Bachchan said she would speak in Hindi as her family hailed from a state where the language is widely spoken. Hindi is also the national language.

The remark irked MNS, which announced a boycott of films starring any member of the Bachchan family, Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya, their son Abhishek and daughter-in-law Aishwarya Rai.

“Till Jaya Bachchan and her family do not apologize to Marathis, we will not allow screening their films in the city. Until then we will tear all their film banners and posters from the city,” said Rishikesh Choudhary, an MNS activist in Nasik .

Meanwhile, a close aid of the family and general secretary of the Samajwadi Party, Amar Singh, said Jaya has not given any statement.

“Law prevails in the country. And I want to clarify that Jaya Bachchan has not given any such statement. She said that she would speak in Hindi and for that I seek apology and no body should feel about that,” Singh said in Indore .

The film industry too, on Monday, closed ranks to stand behind the Bachchans.

Mumbai does not belong to people who speak one language only. No one can force a ban on our films,” said T P Agarwal, president of the Indian Motion Picture Producers Association.

“This goondaraj has to be stopped,” said Pahlaj Nihalani, president of the Association of Motion Pictures and Television Programme Producers.

Earlier, television reports had said MNS party workers in Mumbai tore down posters of Amitabh Bachchan’’s “The Last Lear,” a film slated for release on Friday.

Last week, some party activists were arrested for vandalising shops in the city after owners failed to put up signboards in Marathi language.

Earlier this year, MNS workers in Maharashtra were accused of intimidation, damaging vehicles and beating up taxi drivers, who are mostly migrants.

Less than 50 percent of Mumbai’’s 17 million residents are Maharashtrians.
Many hail from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar . (ANI)

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