Akshay Kumar, often referred to as the "Khiladi Kumar" for his action-packed roles, is a celebrated Bollywood actor known for his versatility and dedication to his craft. As he celebrates his 56th birthday on September 9th, 2023, we delve into the lesser-known controversies that have surrounded his career. Despite his massive fan following and contributions to Indian cinema, Akshay Kumar has found himself embroiled in various controversies over the years, both on and off-screen.
The Infamous Jeans Zipper Incident (2009):
In 2009, Akshay Kumar made headlines for an incident during a fashion event. While walking the ramp, he reached out to his wife, Twinkle Khanna, who was seated in the audience, and asked her to unzip his jeans. This provocative act sparked outrage, leading to demands for legal action against the couple. Many saw it as an inappropriate and distasteful act for a public figure like Akshay Kumar.
Alleged Affairs and Broken Promises:
Akshay Kumar has been accused of having romantic involvements with several leading ladies in Bollywood during the early stages of his career. These relationships allegedly culminated in promises of marriage, which were later broken. Some of the actresses involved in these controversies include Pooja Batra, Ayesha Jhulka, Raveena Tandon, and Shilpa Shetty. These controversies tarnished his image as a responsible partner.
The Mallika Dua Incident:
During a comedy show, comedian Mallika Dua and her team mimicked Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. After the skit, while acting as a judge on the show, Akshay Kumar commented, "Mallika Ji, you should ring a bell, I'll make you ring a bell." This comment was seen as disrespectful and offensive by many, especially in the context of the #MeToo movement and concerns about women's safety in India. Akshay faced severe backlash on social media for his insensitivity.
The "Holi" Dialogue Controversy (2019):
In the 2019 film "Good Newwz," Akshay Kumar's character delivers a controversial dialogue related to the birth of his child. He humorously says, "Thank God the child was not born on Lohri; else he would have been named 'Lohri'." This dialogue drew criticism and sparked debates about insensitivity toward traditions and festivals. Social media erupted with discussions, and Akshay Kumar faced backlash from various quarters.
The 'Rustom' Costume Auction Controversy:
In 2016, during the promotion of the film "Rustom," in which Akshay Kumar portrayed a naval officer, he announced that he would auction the uniform he wore in the movie for charity. This decision led to a controversy, with many arguing that it was disrespectful to auction a costume representing the Indian Navy, which is a revered institution. Akshay eventually withdrew the auction following public outcry.
Akshay Kumar, despite being one of India's most prominent film stars, does not hold Indian citizenship. He is a Canadian citizen by birth. This fact has made him a target for trolls and critics, who question his loyalty to India. During the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Akshay faced criticism for not casting his vote in India. He has repeatedly defended himself by stating that he pays taxes in India and contributes to the country's growth, irrespective of his citizenship status.
During the promotion of the film "Prithviraj," which depicts the life of the legendary Indian king Prithviraj Chauhan, Akshay Kumar made a statement that ignited controversy. He said, "There are only 2-3 lines about Prithviraj Chauhan in history, while there is much more information about invaders." This statement led to public outrage, with many demanding that Akshay Kumar educate himself about India's rich history and culture.
Akshay Kumar, a Bollywood superstar known for his incredible work ethic and diverse filmography, has had his share of controversies throughout his career. From inappropriate acts at public events to controversial dialogues in movies and questions about his citizenship, these incidents have tested his public image. Despite these controversies, Akshay Kumar continues to be a beloved figure in the Indian film industry, showcasing his resilience and dedication to his craft.