No politics in selling Gujarat tourism: Big B

Mumbai: There is no politics involved in his being the brand ambassador for Gujarat, Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan has said, reacting sharply to the Left parties opposing his promoting Kerala because he was doing so for the BJP-ruled state.

“I would talk of the Somnath Temple, Gandhigram, the white sands of the Rann of Kutch, old civilisations of Harappa, the Gir lions and their extinction close by and try to entice as many visitors I could to this glorious land (of Gujarat),” Bachchan wrote in the latest blog entry.

In doing so, he said, there was no politics involved. “Where is the connect with the glorification of the present government (in Gujarat)? Nothing! But when you tickle and titillate in order to camouflage fact and detail, you do great disservice to the institutions that flourish and exist there,” he wrote.

He termed as “rubbish” the attempt to draw “political connotations” for his work in Narendra Modi-ruled Gujarat.

“You want to stop me from promoting tourism in a state, because you have reason to believe that there are political connotations to the event. This is such rubbish”

Bachchan’s reaction comes days after the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M)-led government in Kerala decided, bowing to pressure from the party leadership, not to make him brand ambassador for Kerala tourism.

“All I shall be doing will be working in a short film that shall highlight the various places of interest in the state (Gujarat), so that it encourages more tourists to visit the region. And that is what I would precisely do when I would be asked to do similar acts in Kerala.”

“It is a petty act of cheap convenience to prevent me from doing that, and by pitting me against political connotations and manoeuvres without paying any respect for the actual work that would be done,” he said.

He said he had not asked the Kerala government to make him the brand ambassador. “They came with the invitation, I accepted. Now they want to decline it, fine.”

He said it was not for the first time he has faced such a situation. “Not the first time such incidents have happened. Invitation to be chief guest at the Goa International Film Festival and when I get there, they decline it. Fine!,” he added.

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