Thursday, April 24, 2008

Big B hits out at Shatrughan Sinha in blog

MUMBAI: The normally taciturn Amitabh Bachchan has stepped into the world of blogs to air his views - and hit out at co-star Shatrughan Sinha's insinuation that the nominations list of the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) awards was fixed.

Stepping right into the controversy over the IIFA awards, of which he is brand ambassador, Amitabh goes to some length to explain his standpoint in his blog.

"A section of the print media carried comment from my colleague and friend and neighbour, Shatrughan Sinha. It reportedly quoted his reactions to the nomination list of the IIFA awards, wherein he has purportedly stated that sab kissika beta hai, ya kissiki bahu, ya kissiki biwi ', and the media adding there interpretation to it, stating that this was directed to a particular family of 'guru' fame," he states.

The Mani Ratnam directed Guru , starring Amitabh's son Abhishek and daughter-in-law Aishwarya Rai, has been nominated in all the main categories of the IIFA awards, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Performance in a leading role.

"I believe what is being insinuated is that there is partiality or some 'fixing' in the choice of the nominations carried by IIFA. And as the report concluded, the indication was towards one family, not difficult to guess which one," Amitabh writes.

The actor, who is readying for the release of his next film Bhootnath , says he is surprised by Shatrughan Sinha's allegation and harks back to the past to make a point.

"I am surprised at this observation, especially since, during the time of the National Award selection for best actress in one of the past years, when the award went to Raveena Tandon, it was alleged that Shatrughan Sinha's wife, the lovely and graceful Poonam, a great friend of Raveena's mother had recommended the appointment of MacMohan, the brother of Raveena's mother, on the board of the jury (structured by the government, in power - in this case the BJP, of which Mr. Sinha was a Minister of State) in order that he may cast his vote in favour of Raveena Tandon."

"If this alleged story is true then I do value Mr. Sinha's alleged statement of sab kissika beta, kissiki beti, kissiki biwi - you are so right Shatru," he wrote.

"Of course, this does not take anything away from Raveena's very deserving award - she has been a wonderful and talented co-artist in many films of mine, or, MacMohan, the Sambha of Sholay , who has remained a dear friend and has worked with me in several films. As has Mr. Sinha."

Commenting on the IIFA nominations, Amitabh said the names were finalised through computerised voting system.

"And may I also state that IIFA nominations come from the film fraternity through computerised voting systems, audited and compiled by PriceWaterhouse Coopers, an international company of repute and standing."

"And Shatru! I have seen some very encouraging reports of the film, where your son is being introduced to this great industry. May he prosper and succeed even more than his illustrious father and may he never have to face a slighted accusation of 'fixing', when his name comes up for an award in future."

This year, the IIFA weekend will be held in Bangkok from June 6-8.



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