Sony TV and actor Amitabh Bachchan have expressed regret for referring to Maratha ruler Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj as only “Shivaji” on an episode of Kaun Banega Crorepati 11.
On Friday, the channel tweeted that the reference was inadvertent. “There was an inaccurate reference to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj during Wednesday’s KBC episode, due to inadvertence,” it said. “We deeply regret the same and being mindful of the sentiments of our viewers have carried a scroll expressing regret during our episode yesterday. #KBC11.”
The controversy erupted on Wednesday when a question was asked on the quiz show about the contemporaries of Mughal emperor Aurangazeb. Among the four options, Chhatrapati Shivaji was mentioned as “Shivaji”, while other options were Maharana Pratap, Rana Sanga and Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
Many on Twitter demanded a ban on the show hosted by Amitabh Bachchan. The hashtag, “#Boycott_KBC_SonyTv” was trending on Twitter on Friday. Maharashtra Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Nitesh Rane also demanded an apology. “@sonykbc10 has insulted (Shivaji Maharaj) by referring him in first person singular form,” he had said. “It should tender apology at the earliest. If they delay it (apology) further, the show will not have any life line to continue further.”
“No disrespect meant at all... apologies if it has hurt sentiments,” Amitabh Bachchan tweeted on Friday. Show’s producer-director Siddharth Basu said the “insult or disrespect” was unintended. “This season there have been a number of questions which have all used his name with the full title,” he added. “Apologies for the inadvertent omission of title in the choice.”