Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan, who has got a clean chit from the Allahabad High Court in a case pertaining to fraudulent allotment of government land to him in Uttar Pradesh, says he relishes controversies as they confirm his importance.
Excerpts from the interview:
The judgement Dec 11 (in the Barabanki land scam case in Uttar Pradesh) must have come as a shock to people who presumed you'd be embroiled in one more seemingly endless tangle.
Controversies against individuals do two things. They embarrass the person concerned. And, secondly, they justify and confirm his or her importance. When I do no wrong I dwell on and relish the latter.
You're also constantly under the scrutiny of the income tax department.
The department has the right to question us and we have the right to defend ourselves. And both parties have been given ample provision in our democratic system to justify themselves. But what is happening in today's media blitz is that every appeal, deliberation and comment is highlighted to seek attention.
<b1>Do you feel you and your family are being unnecessarily harassed?
If you were to look at me and my family's record this year you would find endless examples of that. Be it the office of profit issue involving Jaya, the mysterious parcel matter of Aishwarya, the Uttar Pradesh ad campaign of mine and its legal veracity, the land matter, public interest litigation (PIL) against me for a financial matter and so on.
All have, thankfully and by the grace of god, either been dismissed by the courts or have ended in our favour. On delving into the details of those who petitioned against us we discovered that they were all from individuals connected to a particular political party.
Many feel these are nothing but attempts to trouble you for your association with (Samajawadi Party leader) Amar Singh.
I consider it a great privilege and an honour if I am being troubled because of my association with Amar Singhji and Mulayam Singhji. They are family to me.
Does such harassment make you feel less than equal to the ordinary citizen or the less extraordinary celebrity who can buy land, have a wedding, and do other normal things without being hounded?
No it does not. I have always believed my family and me are ordinary citizens of this country. We have never ever asked for any special treatment in any circumstance. All reports of high handedness and special treatment meted out to us, particularly in more recent times during our temple visits and other public appearances, are malicious, vile and deliberate misrepresentations.
If fans and well wishers mob us we have the right to seek protection for our safety and indeed, more importantly, for normalcy to be restored. If it is projected in a manner that portrays us in bad light we can do nothing about it. We shall live with that.