After victory of as many as 13 candidates in the Assembly elections, Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) is in a magnanimous mood, lauding superstar Amitabh Bachchan for his gesture of offering help to a Marathi film for its Oscar bid.
The turnaround may sound “filmi” as it was the same outfit which had launched an agitation against Bachchan, targeting him for “being more loyal to Uttar Pradesh than Maharashtra.”
MNS has welcomed a recent announcement by Mr. Bachchan to support and promote Marathi movie ‘Harishchandrachi Factory’ by Paresh Mokashi.
The film, about how Dadasaheb Phalke made the nation’s first motion picture ‘Raja Harishchandra’, has been selected as India’s entry for Oscars.
“It is a good thing that Mr. Bachchan is supporting the film for Oscar awards. We welcome his move,” MNS general secretary Shirish Parkar told PTI.
This is not the first time that the Big B has offered help to a Marathi movie.
In November 2004, the Bollywood actor donated Rs one lakh to producers of ‘Shwaas’, the Marathi film that was then selected as India’s entry at the Oscars.
The money donated was towards the fund-raising drive organised by the team to ensure widescale publicity and promotion for the film competing in the best foreign language category at the Oscars.
The actor had described the donation as a “small” and “insignificant” contribution.
Mr. Bachchan’s AB Corporation has produced a Marathi film, ’Vihir’ (Well) which is all set for release.
“Though he has become a star in Mumbai, his interest is in Uttar Pradesh. That is why he was trying to be an ambassador of UP rather than Maharashtra,” Mr. Raj had said, launching his tirade against the actor last year.
MNS called off its campaign against Mr. Bachchan in September last year, after Amitabh apologized at a press conference and on his blog to pacify MNS activists who ripped posters of his movie ‘The Last Lear’
Mr. Raj had also been miffed over Jaya Bachchan’s remarks at a film music launch last year that she would speak in Hindi as she was from Uttar Pradesh.