The Samajwadi Party's youth wing has rushed to the defence of the Bachchan family, whose movies the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) has threatened to disrupt until Jaya Bachchan apologises for her alleged anti-Marathi utterances.
Youth wing city president Farooq Ghosi told IANS that his party activists would not take the threats of MNS chief Raj Thackeray "lying down or by keeping quiet".
"My boys will keep vigil outside all cinema halls and multiplexes in Mumbai. If MNS activists attempt to stop any film starring any member of the Bachchan family, they will do the needful," Ghosi said.
He appealed to the Maharashtra government to take "suitable measures" to ensure that owners of cinema halls and multiplexes are not cowed down by MNS threats and continue to screen Bachchan family movies without fear.
Ghosi also challenged Raj Thackeray's allegation that actress and Samajwadi Party MP Jaya Bachchan had insulted Maharasthra and the people of the state.
"She merely put forth her views on Hindi, the national language. She never mentioned anything about Marathi or Maharashtrians," Ghosi contended.
On Sunday, at a promotional for her husband Amitabh Bachchan's movie "The Last Lear" here, Jaya Bachchan expressed her decision to speak in Hindi.
This apparently angered the MNS and Raj Thackeray, who asked Jaya Bachchan to offer an unconditional apology after accusing her of insulting Marathi language.
Thackeray warned that if she did not apologise, he would stop the screening of all movies starring members of the Bachchan family - Amitabh, Abhishek and Aishwarya and Jaya - in Mumbai.
He also urged Marathi-speaking people to boycott all products endorsed by the Bachchan family members.