Supporting his wife Jaya Bachchan in a controversy resulting from her desire to speak in Hindi - after which she was criticised by the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) - Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan has said her remarks were not deliberate.
Jaya had apologised for her remark after MNS chief Raj Thackeray criticised her and his supporters started defacing Bachchan film posters here and in other parts of Maharashtra.
Raj Thackeray and his supporters are not content with the apology and have demanded a so-called "public apology" from Jaya. However, Amitabh appreciated her act of seeking apology.
"The casual off the cuff remarks made by her at the music launch function were without malice or deliberate intent, but if it has caused hurt to the sentiments of Maharashtra, Maharashtrians and indeed the city and citizens of Mumbai, then she must seek regret and offer apology," Bachchan wrote on his blog www.bigb.bigadda.com.
Bachchan added that he is happy that Jaya, on his advice, has taken an initiative to speak to the media expressing her regret for whatever she said and also apologised for the same.
Bachchan said he had sent an SMS to Jaya stating that though her comments were not deliberately intended, she must seek an apology.
"I am pleased and satisfied to read Jaya has on her own spoken to the media on very same lines, regretted the hurt caused and apologised. I feel grateful and happy," he wrote.
Defending Jaya, Bachchan said "Jaya's remark does not in any manner sound anti-Marathi. There is no denigration. But words have a funny way of being mutilated to suit a particular copy or expression in its interpretation. At best they were more pro official/national."
Vouching for his loyalty towards Maharashtra, Bachchan said: "Everything that we possess today is what came to us from this great state and city. We never have and never can look at Maharashtra with disrespect. If inadvertently this is what has been construed, then we apologise and are sorry and seek forgiveness for any sentiments that have been hurt.
"Mumbai and Maharashtra has given us glory and recognition. I am 66 years old and 40 of those years have been spent living in Mumbai. Is it ever possible that we will dishonour it? Never!!"