New Delhi/Nagpur: After about a month of speculation, actors Amitabh Bachchan and Priyanka Chopra have been chosen as the brand ambassadors for the government’s ‘Incredible India’ campaign.
The selection of the two actors follows the Centre’s decision to discontinue the contract of actor Aamir Khan, who had angered the BJP-led government with his remarks on perceived intolerance in the country.
Khan had promoted Indian tourism for a decade as the brand ambassador.
A number of multi-disciplinary icons, including famous sports personalities, were shortlisted by the tourism ministry to be the face of the ‘Incredible India’ campaign.
Other suggestions being considered include choosing a female personality as the mascot for the ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ series which is part of the ‘Incredible India’ campaign to attract foreign tourists.
Khan had late last year stirred a controversy after he expressed “alarm and despondency” over rising instances of intolerance in the country in the past few months and said that his wife (Kiran Rao) even asked if they should move out of India as she feared for the safety of their children.
Defending Khan’s exit from the campaign, senior bureaucrat Amitabh Kant had said the actor, by terming India an ‘intolerant country’, worked against his role as that of a brand ambassador.
“A brand ambassador promotes a brand. People will come to India and tourist flow will increase only if the brand ambassador of ‘Incredible India’ promotes the country as ‘incredible’,” Kant, who is a secretary at the department of industrial policy and promotion, had said.
“But if the brand ambassador says India is intolerant, he surely is not working as brand ambassador,” Kant said.
“The brand ambassador must be the best brand ambassador for promoting and marketing India, he cannot be the destroyer of the brand,” he had said last week while replying to a query on removal of Khan from the campaign, without taking the actor’s name.