Benegal, Bhatt condemn Raj's statements

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Mumbai, Feb 4 (UNI) The film fraternity today condemned Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray's diatribe against Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachchan and said such attempts would be detrimental not only for Maharashtra but also for the country as a whole.

''I feel sad, and I really don't see the purpose of such a statement. I fail to understand why people indulge in the politics of hate,'' noted film director Shyam Benegal said while talking to UNI today.

Stating that such acts of violence do not serve any purpose, Mr Benegal said, ''The tragedy is that those who get hurt or die or whose property is damaged because of these actions, are always innocent people.'' Condemning Raj Thackeray's remark in no uncertain terms, film producer Mahesh Bhatt said the MNS chief was trying to put the clock back at a time when the country was marching towards progress.

''It is shocking indeed that when you are dreaming big, you are marchimg towards becoming a global power, you talk of such tribal culture,'' Mr Bhatt said.

Terming the statement to be fraught with dangers, which could have devastating effect, he said that the statement was aimed at whipping the sentiments of the masses.

UNI IAS MAZ NY KP2001

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