For a long time, Akshay Kumar's name appeared in the 'actors who never won a National Award' list, until it did in 2017. The actor picked the prestigious National Award for his performance in the 2016 film Rustom. Revolving around the true story of naval officer KM Nanavati, Rustom had Akshay essaying the titular role. After nearly two years, the actor's National Award win is again in the news. However, not for nice reasons this time.
Unless you are living under a rock, you definitely know about the hurly-burly regarding his citizenship. Is Akshay Kumar an Indian citizen? That has been the hottest question on the internet for the past few days. It all surfaced when Bollywood celebrities, along with other Mumbaikars, cast their vote in the fourth phase of general elections 2019 but Akshay was seen nowhere. Amid rounds of debate, he also released a statement saying he held a Canadian passport and the controversies surrounding his citizenship were very unpleasant.
This, inevitably, lands us at the next question. Can an actor who is not a citizen of India win a National Award?
The official website of National Film Awards specifies nowhere that an actor holding citizenship of another country, is not eligible for an award. The list of eligibility, as visible on the website, mentions that 'only those persons whose names are on the credit titles of the film and are normally residing and
working in India will be eligible for the Awards'.
Filmmaker Priyadarshan, who has worked with Akshay in a number of films including Hera Pheri and Khatta Meetha, was a part of the jury the year he won. When in.com got in touch with him, he said he wasn't aware of any rule that could stop a non-citizen from winning an award.
"I am not aware if there is such a rule which says that people holding foreign passport are not eligible to win National Awards. If there was then he (Akshay) wouldn't have won. I was on the Jury that year (when he won) we never had a discussion on this topic," he said, exclusively to in.com.
Ferrari Ki Sawari director Rajesh Mapuskar, who was also a part of the jury with a chapter of the awards, has a different opinion. "One holding a foreign passport cannot receive a National Award. I don't know how Akshay got it," he informed in.com exclusively.
Wonder what the debate will conclude in!