Pune: Showering praise on Marathi and
Maharashtra, Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan tonight said
he was indebted to the state which shaped his destiny and gave
him name and fame.
"I salute this sacred soil of Maharashtra. Whatever I am
today is because of Maharashtra which has given me name,
honour, home, and also wife," Bachchan said at the concluding
ceremony of the 83rd All India Marathi Sahitya Sammelan that
ruffled many feathers over his scheduled joint presence at the
literary meet with state Chief Minister Ashok Chavan.
Smarting under the controversy that dogged him since his
coming together with the superstar -- a brand ambassador of
BJP-ruled Gujarat -- at the Mumbai sea link function last
week, Chavan chose to avoid Bachchan on Sunday and paid a visit to
the Sammelan yesterday.
In an oblique reference to the row that his presence with
Chavan had caused, Bachchan who was the chief guest at the
convention, said "I have encountered criticism in life along
with other things. Opposition and criticism too are necessary
in one`s life. It serves as `Nazarbatto` to ward off evil."
Bachchan said he had fond memory of Pune which he
described as a seat of Maharashtra`s art, culture and
"It is here that I decided to make Jaya my wife", he said
drawing applause from a packed pandal that served to
facilitate the three-day literary deliberations of writers of
various hues and shades.
Amitabh later recited stanzas from poetry written by his
late poet-father Harivansharai Bachchan, including the
He also recalled that the first translation of
`Madhushala` was done in Marthi.
The Sammelan, an annual prestigious fixture in
Maharashtra`s cultural calender, also adopted various
resolutions including a plea to the state government to press
for early solution to Maharashtra-Karnataka boundary dispute
and to implement measures to promote use of Marathi.