A legend of the Bollywood film industry has denied criticising Mumbai-set Golden Globe winner Slumdog Millionaire.

Danny Boyle's claimed four awards at the Golden Globes last weekend but was castigated by Amitabh Bachchan for portraying Indian as a "third world dirty underbelly".

However, Bachchan - who has appeared in more than 140 films in a career spanning four decades - said he did not make the comments but posted them on his blog in order to spark a debate.

"What a colossal joke this is all turning out to be!" he wrote on his blog on Thursday.

"Without reading the text of my blog or the purpose behind mention of Slumdog an entire machinery of abuse has been directed towards me.

"Fact is - some one mentioned the film on my blog. Some expressed opinion for it, some against. And yes, they contained some strong assumptions. I merely put both of them up and invited debate."

The Bollywood legend instead directed his criticism towards the media for reporting "the pros and cons of others" as Bachchan's.

He added: "Now, after having castigated me for something not attributable to me, [the media] has made my real opinion on the film after seeing it, impossible. If I do not like it, there will be greater abuse. If I like it, there will be abuse."

Based on Vikas Swarup's novel, Slumdog Millionaire tells of a boy from the Mumbai slums who appears on the Indian version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? and finds himself one question away from winning 20 million rupees.

An entry on Bachchan's blog earlier this week read: "If Slumdog Millionaire projects India as [a] Third World dirty underbelly developing nation and causes pain and disgust among nationalists and patriots, let it be known that a murky underbelly exists and thrives even in the most developed nations."

"It's just that the SM idea authored by an Indian and conceived and cinematically put together by a Westerner, gets creative [Golden] Globe recognition. The other would perhaps not."

The movie was named best film drama, as well as taking the best director, writer and composer awards at the Golden Globes and is a firm favourite for further success at the Academy awards in February.

16/01/2009 13:30:59