Celebrities love to be on the news but Akshay Kumar is one person who could use a bit of peace and quite right now. ‘Khiladi Kumar’, as he is popularly known, has been dragged into a nasty debate, one which questions his citizenship, and by extension, his nationalism. The man who urged Indians to cast their votes is in the news because of his ‘Honorary Canadian Citizenship’ – a fact that he wants people to be proud of. However, is Akshay’s citizenship honourary? He certainly doesn’t think so. At least not now, and not in an undated video of himself calling Toronto his home.
Akshay had one said to a leading news channel that he held an honourary Canadian citizenship. Kumar, who has played several roles on patriotic films in India, failed to cast his vote on March 29. Since then, the doubts over his citizenship arose. Recently, a video of the actor, seemingly in Canada, emerged online. In it, Akshay can be heard saying: “I must tell you one thing. This is my home. Toronto is my home. After I retire from this industry, I’m going to come back here and stay here.”
In a tweet, Akshay issued a statement wherein he said that he holds a Canadian passport and that he has not visited the country in over seven years. “While all these years, I have never needed to prove my love for India to anyone, I find it disappointing that by citizenship issue is constantly dragged into needless controversy, a matter that is personal, legal, non-political, and od no consequence to others,” read his statement.
A report on the Vancouver Observer dated September 2, 2012, mentions a group of Canadians who were denied or stripped of citizenship by the federal government due to legal technicalities. “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," read the report. That would mean that Akshay had filed for the Honorary Canadian Citizenship and was later rejected. Honourary citizenships are given to people, and not granted.