As the India International Film Academy (IIFA) awards kick-off, the Bollywood film fraternity stands divided over the choice of venue: Colombo. In a shocking comment in Sri Lanka on Thursday night, actor Salman Khan made a direct attack at IIFA brand ambassador Amitabh Bachchan, who has failed to show up for the event as yet.
“Mr Bachchan is the brand ambassador of the event, he should have been present here. Everyone belonging to the film industry should have attended IIFA. They could have come together to extend their help to Sri Lankans,” said Salman. Bachchan’s decision not to attend seems to have come in the wake of protests by groups in Tamil Nadu and the South Indian film industry, threatening to boycott Bollywood actors and films that go to Sri Lanka for IIFA.
While there has been no response from Bachchan on Salman’s comments, film producer Vipul Shah jumped to his defense. “Even I am not going due to work commitments, it’s an individual choice,” he said.
“Mr Bachchan has represented IIFA really well in spirit. If he is not there, I am sure he must be having reasons,” said actress Divya Dutta. Director Sajid Khan says, “It is Mr Bachchan’s choice whether he wants to be at the IIFA or not.” However, actress Sophie Choudry, who is currently at IIFA, says, “People have a right to be concerned about their safety in general. But, terrible things also happen at our very own doorstep. IIFA promotes peace.”