Canadian passport trolling ends, Akshay Kumar applies for Indian citizenship

Repeated failures, career concern had led to Kumar applying for Canadian citizenship early in his career

By Mayur Lookhar

He’s a superstar, philanthropist and a patriot, but Akshay Kumar has always copped social media criticism over the issue of holding a Canadian passport, this despite him being born, residing and working in India.  In the last year or so, Kumar, whose birth name is Rajeev Bhatia, has been regularly trolled with netizens making memes asking him to show his passport.  In the past, the actor had claimed to be holding an honorary citizenship, but once it became clear that he wasn’t an honorary citizen of Canada, the actor had no place to hide. Early this year, Kumar had cited personal reason for holding Canadian passport and had asked all to respect his privacy.

 The actor though has finally opened on the reasons why he took the Canadian citizenship in the first place. And he’s shutting the debate once and for all as he declared that he has applied for Indian citizenship. Kumar disclosed about it at an interactive session at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit in New Delhi today.

The moderator told Kumar that the issue of his Canadian passport keeps cropping up whenever he talks about patriotism.  The Good Newwz [2019] actor finally opened up on the reasons for taking Canadian citizenship.

“This was sometime back when 14 [successive] films of mine flopped.  Back then, I felt I may have to look for others means to earn.  A close [Indian origin] friend, who stays in Canada, had asked me to come down to Canada and work together. So, I started the process to apply for Canadian passport,” Kumar said at the HT Leadership Summit.

Back then the actor thought that his career was all but over.  “I thought I will not get any more work [films], I started my process and that’s when I got the 15 film. I thought I’ll finish one or two films but the fifteenth film clicked and since then I haven’t looked back. I never thought the need to change the passport [after it],” added Kumar.

The actor paused for few seconds before dropping the big news that he has already applied for Indian citizenship.

“I’d like to tell you I have now applied for it. I feel hurt when people keep harping on it [Canadian passport]. To prove that I am an Indian, I’ll have to show a small copy which is my passport, that [criticism] hurts me. I don’t want to give opportunity to anyone again, I want to tell that I have applied for it and I will be getting it” declared Kumar.

 The actor went on to add that his wife and son hold an Indian passport, and how he pays all his taxes in India.

With Kumar making his intentions clear, hopefully it will shut the debate over his citizenship forever.

The actor will soon be seen in director Raj Mehta’s Good Newwz [2019] that is set to be released on 27 December.

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