Bollywood hunk Akshay Kumar has often played Indian patriots in his on-screen action movies. But it has irked some in his home country that he travels on a Canadian passport.
However, the star of such films as Rustom, Mission Mangal, and Houseful 4 is now eager to renounce his Canadian citizenship. In an interview on the Seedhi Baat TV show, Kumar said that he has applied to change his passport “once I get the renounced status from Canada”.
According to the Hindustan Times, the actor revealed last year that he had applied in 2019 to acquire an Indian passport.
“Then the pandemic happened and everything shut down for 2 – 2.5 years,” Kumar reportedly said. “My renounce letter is here and very soon my whole passport will be coming.”
In Canada, the National Post has previously reported that the Stephen Harper government granted Kumar citizenship. This came after the actor had praised Harper at a 2011 Conservative campaign stop in Brampton.
Three years later, the Bollywood star campaigned with Narendra Modi in India. Modi went on to become prime minister, pursuing policies that discriminated against Muslim refugees and emboldening Hindu extremists.
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In other films—such as Airlift, Baby, Holiday: A Soldier is Never Off Duty, and Gabbar is Back—Kumar repeatedly tugged on the patriotic heartstrings of his fans.
Much to the chagrin of the Punjabi diaspora, the actor even came to the defence of the Narendra Modi government over its treatment of protesting farmers.
Kumar waded into the debate over Twitter after the government has been questioned over social media by Rihanna and climate activist Greta Thunberg.
“Farmers constitute an extremely important part of our country,” Kumar declared. “And the efforts being undertaken to resolve their issues are evident. Let’s support an amicable resolution, rather than paying attention to anyone creating differences.”
Farmers constitute an extremely important part of our country. And the efforts being undertaken to resolve their issues are evident. Let’s support an amicable resolution, rather than paying attention to anyone creating differences. 🙏🏻#IndiaTogether #IndiaAgainstPropaganda https://t.co/LgAn6tIwWp
— Akshay Kumar (@akshaykumar) February 3, 2021
That tweet prompted B.C. writer Gurpreet Singh to write a column calling upon Canada to strip the actor of his Canadian citizenship.
“Kumar will learn a lesson that he isn’t welcome to Canada if he cannot stand up for the farmers in India, not to mentions religious minorities and political dissidents who are under constant attack from the authorities and Hindu fanatics,” Singh wrote.