Mumbai: Expressing his happiness over his name being cleared from the Bofors payoff scam, Bollywood mega-star Amitabh Bachchan, however, said that he is “pained” that it came 25 years later.
Speaking to reporters here, Bachchan welcomed the revelations made by the Swedish investigators in the Bofors case. He said he had “lived with humiliation and loss of reputation” all these years.
“I am happy that the truth has emerged after 25 years,” he said.
However, he wished that his father, the late Harivanshrai Bachchan, had lived to see this development. “My family knew the truth on Bofors all along, from day one,” Bachchan said.
“My father once asked if I was really involved in the scandal. I wish this disclosure would have happened when he was alive,” he added.
Bachchan’s reactions came in response to fresh revelations in the Bofors case in which Swedish investigator Sten Lindstrom said that the case against actor and then Congress MP and his family was planted in Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter by Indian investigators.
“From the very day we have maintained that we were innocent, for 25 years mine as well as my family’s name bore the brunt of the scandal of which I was never a part of,” he said.
He, however, wondered as to why Lindstorm cleared his name only now. He said he quit politics only because he could not get used to it. “I left before the Bofors scandal broke, but some people tried to link my exit from politics to the scandal,” he said.
Earlier, Bachchan had said on his blog that 25 years after the incident, “I read today from one that pioneered accusation and investigation, of innocence”.
“No one shall be able to understand or even remotely fathom, the hours and days and months and years of the anguish of petulant blame that I had to go through. But will it really interest another? No it shall not,” he wrote.
The Bofors case dates back to 1986, when Swiss arms manufacturer Bofors landed a Rs.1,500 crore contract to supply 155 mm howitzers to India. A year later, Swiss media began reporting that the company had paid massive kickbacks to Indian politicians, including then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, and defence officials.
Lindstrom now says there is no evidence to show Rajiv Gandhi was bribed