Akshay Kumar might be Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s choice for a ‘non-political’ interview during the 17th Lok Sabha elections, but that hasn’t insulated him from troll attack on social media. Kumar, who reportedly holds a Canadian passport, is not eligible to vote in India. For many people online, that is a sacrilege of sorts for Bollywood’s new-age Bharat Kumar, who loves treating his fans to patriotic films at least once a year. From Baby to Gold, Akshay has fought for the country many times on the big screen. He has set up Bharat Ke Veer, an online portal to help Army widows. But none of this is enough to keep him from the regular criticism that comes his way on social media.
A clip from the screening of Blank is going viral today. Akshay, who attended the show on Tuesday night with wife Twinkle Khanna, was asked, “People love you but sometimes people criticise you for small things like the fact that you did not vote yesterday…”
Akshay did not let the reporter finish his question. He grabbed the reporter and dismissed the question saying, “Chaliye, chaliye.” The Kesari actor then spoke to someone behind him, “This is what I tell you…” At this point in the video, there is no audio.
The Twitter user who shared the video on the micro-blogging site, wrote, “Apolitical Akshay Kumar’s angry reaction when a reporter asked him reason for not casting his vote.”
The user went on to write, “I could see @ANI mike too. Looks like they forgot to upload this video.”
The video evoked strong reactions from Twitterati.
“In movies only his patriotism comes out but in reality he is money minded business guy he will do anything for money,” wrote a Twitter user.
“Time to take ‘ChandiniChowk In Canada’,” wrote someone else, referring to Akshay’s film Chandni Chowk To China.
Someone also ‘wondered’ if the ‘audio was deliberately fazed out’, “I wonder if audio is deliberately fazed out, when akshay says “this is why I tell you..””
On April 29, Mumbai went to vote in the fourth phase of the Lok Sabha polls. While most Bollywood stars went to their respective poll booths and cast their vote, and showed off their inked finger on social media in selfies, Akshay Kumar was absent from it all. Twinkle Khanna shared her own poll selfie on Instagram on Monday, saying ‘Vote India Vote’. Many people on Twitter questioned Akshay’s absence on Monday too.
As response to Akshay Kumar’s ‘chaliye, chaliye’ video, a Twitter user shared a video from the past where the actor can be heard saying, “Toronto is my home.”
“I must tell you… this is my home. Toronto is my home. After I retire from this industry, I’m going to come back here,” Akshay says in the video.
Akshay Given Canadian Citizenship
While the actor has so far either been evasive about his citizenship status or claimed that it is honorary (and therefore not valid), a report by the Vancouver Observer, dated 2 September 2012, alleges that Akshay Kumar was granted Canadian citizenship papers “within weeks” after applying.
The article details how some Canadians, termed the ‘Lost Canadians’, have been denied or stripped of their citizenship by the government on grounds of legal technicalities. While some of these cases go on to be resolved, the report says that there are several still awaiting their citizenship papers even as the country accepts 250,000 new immigrants each year.
The article reads, “While the majority of these cases have been resolved through the 2009 Bill C-37, An Act to Amend the Citizenship Act, some people are waiting years to receive the same citizenship papers that others – such as Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar – was granted within weeks.”