Has Akshay Kumar become the Opposition’s favourite whipping boy? It would appear so. For the Bollywood superstar finds himself being viciously trolled on social media suddenly for not casting his vote in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections because his Canadian citizenship prevented him from doing so.
This might have gone unmentioned had not Akshay sensationally done the first “non-political” interview of Prime Minister Narendra Modi just before the nation went to the polls. It broke the Internet and established him as a Modi admirer. But Akshay got trolled for that. Like his strange interview alone was enough to ensure that Modi returned to power. And when the actor handsomely donated Rs. 1 crore to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund for victims of the Odisha cyclone this week, there were snide insinuations again.
The thing is, if Akshay is guilty of honestly showing his appreciation for Modi then he has been doing it knowing that he wouldn’t be able to cast a vote in favour of the Prime Minister and his party when the Lok Sabha elections came along. It’s not like he was their poster boy and suddenly backed out of a commitment. And if Modi and the BJP had no problem with that, why should anybody else?
The problem is that talking is free. Especially here. And on social media where everybody with no face has an opinion. But shouldn’t those who have not sinned cast the first stone? When he entertains us with blockbuster cinema we applaud the actor but do not question Akshay’s citizenship. And when he large-heartedly donates, after paying all his dues to the country, to causes that no other actor is generous towards, nobody questions Akshay’s citizenship. Then why now?
The people behind this hate campaign against Akshay ought to do the math and figure out that he’s one man who steps up to the crease when the country needs somebody to bat for it without thought of self and citizenship. And without looking to see if Bollywood is following his lead. Nobody declines his contribution then by saying, “Thanks, but no thanks!” because he has a Canadian passport.
Everything he does for India besides entertaining through films is gladly and gratefully accepted. By villagers who don’t have toilets, women fighting menstrual taboos in rural areas, farmers in drought-hit areas, families of soldiers martyred in action, girls who have learned martial arts for free, victims of natural calamities, victims of acts of terrorism, Bollywood stuntmen who don’t have accident and life insurance policies. The time to raise Akshay’s citizenship and question his loyalty to the country is then. When he is doing these acts of charity selflessly. Not during an election when he anyway had no vote.