National Awards are the highest honour in the film fraternity across all regional cinemas and languages. Like most awards in the entertainment industry, the credibility and the integrity of the awards has been questioned more than once. This year’s National Awards found Akshay Kumar in the middle of it when he won the national award for the National Award for Best Actor for his performance in Rustom.
There has been a whole debate about Akshay Kumar deserving the award when there were other finer performances like Amitabh Bachchan in Pink, Shahid Kapoor in Udta Punjab, Manoj Bajpayee’s career-best performance as a gay professor in Aligarh and of course, Aamir Khan in Dangal.
Priyadarshan, the chairperson of National Awards, later added that it was not only for Rustom but also Airlift. He clarified in a statement, “Akshay was given the best actor on the basis of his performance in two films — ‘Airlift’ and ‘Rustom‘. It was the jury’s decision. One performance was dramatic and one was realistic. But according to the rule book, only one film can be mentioned and ‘Rustom’ was mentioned in the list. But the award recognises his performance in both the movies.”
It was also seen as an act of favouritism by Priyadarshan, the chairman of the jury who has done several films with Akshay in the past including the laughter riot, Hera Pheri.
In an interview with a leading daily, speaking about his National Award win Akshay said, “Itna keh sakta hun mai ki ye award bhi maine imaandari se jita hai. Maine aaj tak cheating nahi ki. Neither have I ever made a call to anyone to win an award nor have given money or done favours for it.”
Akshay will be next seen in Toilet – Ek Prem Katha opposite Bhumi Pednekar which will release on 11th August. The movie will clash with Shah Rukh Khan and Anushka Sharma starrer Imtiaz Ali’s untitled next.