Will Amitabh Bachchan do anything for money?

Yesterday, when rumours of the possible imposition of President’s Rule in Uttar Pradesh began swirling around, a familiar figure that also sells cars, chocolates, chyawanprash, clothes and colas bobbed up on TV screens, across channels: that of Amitabh Srivastava alias Bachchan.

In his now-familiar avuncular persona, Big B batted bigtime for the land of his father, the place of his birth, the state of his wife’s Rajya Sabha membership, and the kingdom of his saviours (in alphabetical order) Amar Singh, Mulayam Singh Yadav, and Subroto Roy ‘Sahara’.

Applauded by a paid, studio-assembled audience, Mr Bachchan does a poem, a laboured exercise in alliteration, to say that the law and order situation in UP is not so bad, that there are states with a worse L & O situation, and that people actually sleep peacefully at night in India’s biggest state because there is no jurm.

All of which may be true—if you can forget Nithari.

Mr Bachchan is an extremely intelligent man, and UP after all is a State that goes to the polls soon. But…

Just what is it that makes Amitabh Bachchan stick his neck out like this? Just what is it that has enabled M/s Yadav, Roy and Singh to obtain such a stranglehold on his senses? And, pardon us for our impertinence, is there anything, anything at all, Amitabh Bachchan won’t do for a fee?

Including dancing on the bodies of dead children?