This year’s declaration of National Awards generated quite a buzz especially for Akshay Kumar’s National award win for Rustom. It led to debates on whether the ‘Khiladi’ of Bollywood should have won the National Award considering that the year also saw films like Dangal and Aligarh and it’s leads Aamir Khan and Manoj Bajpayee gave stellar performances. Everyone had something to say about it and so does ace director Karan Johar.
Johar blames it on “perception” for the criticism of Akshay’s performance in Rustom being awarded over the likes of Aamir and Manoj. Speaking to NDTV, Karan Johar said, “Some of us just don’t get our due because there is a perception of us. There is a perception that I make these bubblegum, NRI-friendly, glossy, glamorous, first world films and that Akshay Kumar is this major movie star who has always done mainstream work.”
Karan Johar, who is a very close friend of Akki’s wife, Twinkle Khanna, doesn’t agree that Akshay’s win was without merit and says he ought to be ‘applauded’ and ‘appreciated’. “I think Akshay Kumar should have won this award many years ago, he is truly the most amazing mind in the business. He is a very dedicated talented hardworking man. I am so glad he won his National Award. He deserves it,” added the ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ director.
There were also speculations that Akshay won the award based on favoritism as the jury was chaired by filmmaker Priyadarshan, who has directed Akshay in several films, including the cult comedy Hera Pheri.
Priyadarshan has dismissed his critics, asking why when Amitabh Bachchan was awarded the National Award for Piku by a jury headed by his Sholay director Ramesh Sippy hadn’t been similarly questioned. He told news agency PTI, “When Ramesh Sippy was jury head Amitabh Bachchan won. When Prakash Jha was head of jury, Ajay Devgn won. So no one questioned at that time. So why all these questions are cropping up today.”
Akshay also clearing his name has said in an interview, “I have completed 25 years in the film industry and I’ve never called in a favour to bag a movie or an award.”
Akshay Kumar will be next seen in Toilet: Ek Prem Katha and Rajinikanth’s 2.0