BJP’s Amit Malviya and Trinamool’s Mahua Moitra crossed swords on Thursday night to read between the lines what Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan said at the inauguration of the Kolkata International Film Festival. As Amitabh Bachchan said, even as questions are raised about civil liberties and freedom of expression, Amit Malviya said Amitabh Bachchan held up a mirror to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. To this, Mahua Moitra said that Amitabh Bachchan denounced BJP’s boycott and bans and chose Kolkata Film Festival as the platform. Read | ‘None of us could have said what Amitabh Bachchan explained’: Mamata Banerjee
“The words of Amitabh Bachchan could not have been more prophetic since they were spoken in Kolkata, with Mamata Banerjee on stage,” said Amit Malviya.
“It’s like holding up a mirror to the tyrant, under whose watch India witnessed the bloodiest post-election violence. She has tarnished Bengal’s image…” said Malviya.
Mahua Moitra opposed the ‘spin’ Amit Malviya put on Amitabh Bachchan’s speech saying that Amitabh Bachchan knows the bottom of Kolkata as the city is his second home as he is the son-in-law of West Bengal.
“Wish BJP would hire a Troll In Chief with an IQ > some numbers. Bachhan ji is the Bengali ‘jamai’ – he knows that the land of his 2nd home is the land of the free and home of the brave. He chose the KIFF platform to denounce BJPs boycotts and bans in the arts. Duh…” said Mahua Moitra.
What Amitabh Bachchan said about freedom of expression
In his speech, Amitabh Bachchan touched on the evolution of cinema with the advancement of civilization, starting from people’s predilection for any group activity. While talking about the history of Indian cinema as opposed to Hollywood, he talked about censorship, British oppression and fascism. It was in this context that he said, “Even now, and I’m sure my colleagues on stage would agree, questions are raised about civil liberties and freedom of speech.”
What Amitabh Bachchan said about Kolkata
Affectionately calling himself the son-in-law of West Bengal, Amitabh Bachchan spoke in Bengali and expressed his love for the city. “Kolkata is my home. I will always be Kolkata’s son-in-law,” said Amitabh Bachchan in Bengali. “The festival has always celebrated the inclusive spirit… I salute you Kolkata for giving me my first job, for giving Jaya her first film,” said Amitabh Bachchan.
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