Mumbai, Apr 8: Taking the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) headlong, Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan has asserted that he will not quit the metropolis and is not answerable to anyone except courts, his conscious and the Constitution. In an interview published in a city tabloid today, the actor said ''I am not an outsider by any stretch of imagination. This land is my land as much as it is for every other citizen of our beloved country. I came to Mumbai in 1968 to pursue a vocation and I did not need a visa to come here as the city had been my home for the last 40 years''.
''I bought my first car here and my own house. I met and married my wife in this city and both my children were born here. My father and my mother spent their last years in Mumbai and died here. They were put to flames here and their ashes have mingled with the earth of this city. This city gave me name and fame beyond anything that I may have deserved or hoped for.'' Amitabh told the tabloid, ''I am not leaving this city and going anywhere. Let them (MNS) throw bottles and stones. Let them burn my effigies and bring morchas in front of my house -- but I won't budge''.
''I am a public figure, not a public official. I am not a democratically elected representative of the people, neither do I hold any public office. I am answerable only to the three C's: Courts, Constitution and Conscience'', he said. The superstar was recently attacked by Shiv Sena mouthpiece 'Saamna', which in an editorial cited the example of Rajnikanth, who was supporting the Tamil cause in the Hogenekkal drinking water project controversy between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, despite the fact that he is a Maharashtrian from Karnataka and asked what had Amitabh done for Maharashtra.
However, Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray distanced himself from the editorial and wrote that Amitabh is a national star and should not be dragged into regional controversies.
Amitabh said ''Balasaheb has been a father figure to us and shall remain so. In my growing up years, my parents taught me that when elders speak, the young listen quietly. I quietly accept whatever my elder or his outfit has expressed.''