After suggesting that Jaya Bachchan should quit Samajwadi party and join him, expelled SP leader Amar Singh on Tuesday rallied behind Amitabh Bachchan asking how can the superstar tell the country who is guilty for the Gujarat riots.
Sharing the dais with Amitabh two days after he took a swipe at his wife for still remaining with Mulayam Singh Yadav's party, Amar took on the Congress saying the Supreme Court will have to take a decision on the 2002 riots and has the authority to do so. Amar slammed the Bollywood star's detractors for doubting his secular credentials. The coming together of Amitabh and Amar today assumed significance amid reports of a rift between the ex-SP leader and the Bachchan family.
Amitabh faced the strongest ever criticism yet from the Congress yesterday for his association with Narendra Modi -ruled Gujarat as brand ambassador of that state. In a hard-hitting poser, the Congress dared him to tell the country as to who was responsible for the riots in Gujarat.
"Amitabh's secular credentials are beyond doubt as he carries on his father's (Harivanshrai) legacy," he said at a function of the Symbiosis Institute's College of Mass Communication, about 40 kms from here. Singh, a Rajya Sabha MP, was also engrossed in a talk with Amitabh on the dais. Singh said Amitabh was as an artiste, a "global icon who transcended geographical and cultural barriers of states and nations."
"He belongs to Maharashtra, Bengal, UP...and also Egypt..and the whole world. Amitabh is never afraid of criticism and answers it with politeness...maintains silence", he said, adding that the actor believed in 'Ekala Chalo re...', a saying of Rabindranath Tagore because truth always prevails.
Amitabh, who inaugurated a studio of the institute, described Amar Singh--who voiced his unhappiness over Jaya Bachchan, MP, remaining with SP--as his "younger brother". On Sunday, Singh had said that he "misses" Jaya Bachchan and wants her to join him since she too was unhappy with party affairs, suggesting that she should quit SP.
During an interaction with students, the actor was asked how he viewed criticism against him. "Criticism is essential for life. We learn from mistakes. I take criticism in good spirit and learn from it", Amitabh ssaid. The Big B said he drew inspiration from criticism and had advised his son Abhishek, to practice the same philosophy when his work evoked negative comments. To a query, Amar Singh said emotions had no part to play in politics which is a cruel game.
"I am not a political stalwart. I went by sentiments in politics. I suffered and also benefited....", he added. Singh responding to a question told the audience that he had not decided on his future political direction so far as to whether he would join a party for form a new one. "It depends on what my supporters feel. But one thing is certain that I would always remain committed to secular politics," he added. PTI