A 23 year-old medical student was gang-raped and has been since fighting for life at a Delhi hospital, sparking widespread outrage with the issue even resonating in Parliament. Bachchan, who also gave away various awards in connection with the eight-day festival, showered praise on South Indian film fraternity and hailed its discipline and organised way of working. He said many in Hindi cinema were popular all over the world, but South Indian cinema "is an integral part of" it. Tracing the 100 years of Indian cinema, he said it was once not a vocation appreciated by many and that his parents had "vetted" the movies he wanted to watch in his childhood days.
He hailed cinema as a medium bringing together various walks of life and said audience never asked about the caste, creed or religion of those on-screen. Promising his mite for the CIFF, Bachchan said he was even prepared to work as a volunteer or escort, drawing peels of laughter. He announced Rs 11 lakh as his contributions. Earlier, he started off with greeting the crowd in Tamil and spoke a few lines which was received by a huge applause. He also modelled for an instant portrait and sung verses from his evergreen melody "Kabhi kabhie mere dil mein."