Hitting back at Anbumani Ramadoss for his repeated comments over smoking on the silver screen, Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan has said the Health Minister should focus on his own people and stop tarnishing the image of the film industry.
"All I request the Minister is to focus on his own people. By asking Shahrukh Khan or me to quit smoking or alcohol in our cinema, an attempt is being made to tarnish the image of the film industry. That should not happen," said the Bollywood legend.
The actor refused to agree that smoking and drinking scenes portrayed in the films provoke people to indulge in such practice in real life.
"If the country was getting so influenced by what we were doing then how do you explain the partition of India, which to me was the most painful thing... The Bhagalpur blindings, will you blame the film industry for that too?" Bachchan argued during an interview with CNN-IBN news channel.
Distancing himself from active politics, Bachchan, when asked about his move in case of a possible alliance between Congress and Samajwadi Party, said: "These are all political events which are not for me. My best wishes are always with Samajwadi Party and the Congress."
Asked whether he thought Rahul Gandhi was fit to be a Prime Ministerial candidate, he said, "That's not for me to decide. But I do wish him all the best."
Bachchan also responded to the recent controversial comments by Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray alleging him with being more loyal to his own state Uttar Pradesh rather than contributing to Maharashtra.
"India is a free country. Everyone has the freedom of speech. Everyone is free to express (oneself) themselves. I am also free to express myself. I work and believe in the validity of Indian constitution. As long as I work within the legal space, I don't get bothered by what others say," Bachchan said.
"I am not selfish. I am far removed from it," he added.