Modi brands Bachchan critics as ‘Taliban of Public life’

Narendra Modi has jumped in support of Amitabh Bachchan, who is also the brand ambassador of Gujarat.

Updated: Mar 29, 2010, 14:12 PM IST

Ahmedabad: Lashing out at those objecting to Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan`s presence at a government function in Mumbai, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has dubbed them as "Talibans of untouchability".

Writing on his blog, Modi described 67-year-old Bachchan as a great artist with legendary humility and even taller achievements who has chosen to celebrate the glorious heritage of Gujarat even while facing a lot of criticism from many quarters. "This is inspiring", he said yesterday.

A controversy erupted over Bachchan attending at a government function in Mumbai where Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan was also present. A section of Congress took objection to his presence as he is the brand ambassador for BJP-ruled Gujarat.

The Bachchan-Congress row took a new twist yesterday with the megastar claiming that his son Abhishek`s posters were removed from the venue of WWF`s Earth Hour event in Delhi on Saturday evening attended by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and saw a "pattern" behind such acts.

Modi said the anti-Gujarat game plan behind the opposition and the controversy over senior Bachchan stood exposed in broad daylight now.

"These `Talibans of Untouchability` have lost all their sensibilities in their pursuit of anti-Gujarat attitudes.

"They may well in future tell us not to eat even salt. They may even ban the eating of Amul butter and milk and order our young people not to wear denim jeans! And guess why, because Gujarat produces these things," he said.

"Friends, my heart is still unwilling to believe that these Talibans are unaware of the damage they are causing to this nation and to our society," said Modi.
The Gujarat Chief Minister also wrote about his marathon grilling by the Supreme Court-appointed SIT in connection with a Gujarat riots case.

"I have cooperated with the process of law and accepted its supremacy. I heartily express my thankfulness to the people for their support and prayers in this difficult moment," his blog entry read.

Modi was grilled for over nine hours on Saturday for his alleged role in the Gulbarg Society massacre in which 69 people including former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri were killed.