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Big B speaks Marathi to calm tempers

The actor speaks in Marathi to tell Maharashtrians he holds them close to his heart, after some people question his commitment to the state.
PTI | By HT Correspondent, Mumbai
UPDATED ON APR 08, 2008 03:17 AM IST

Amitabh Bachchan on Monday joined another superstar Rajnikant in speaking the language of the state where some sections are targeting the Bollywood actor on the "outsider" row in a bid to calm tempers.

Reaching out to Maharashtrians after questions were raised about his commitment to Marathi cause, the Bollywood actor spoke in Marathi language to tell he holds them "close to my heart."

"Maharashtra has given me a lot. It has given me house, my wife... My association with Maharashtra goes back to over 40 years," Bachchan told a TV channel.

The star said his father had many friends in the state in the field of literature and that many of his poems have been translated into Marathi.

Bachchan has drawn flak from Maha Navnirman Sena's(MNS) Raj Thackeray who questioned his credentials to do something for Maharashtra and triggered the 'son of the soil' row. The Shiv Sena also targetted the star on last Saturday by saying Tamil star Rajnikant had "dwarfed" him by siding with Tamil Nadu, the place where he is settled, in connection with the Hogenakkal row with Karnataka.

On Sunday, Rajnikant spoke in Kannada to cool tempers after he came under fire from pro-Kannada outfits and political party leaders for his reported offensive remarks against people of Karnataka over the protests against Tamil Nadu's Hogenakkal water project. The star was brought up in Karnataka before shifting base to Chennai after entering the Tamil film industry.

Rejecting the allegations that he had insulted Kannadigas, Rajnikant told some regional TV channels in Kannada "I am not an unwise person to pass remarks that offend the sentiments of people of Karnataka". The star said he was only referring to the miscreants fomenting trouble who needed to be reined in.

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