Boycotting films in a free country like India doesn’t make sense because cinema as an industry also contributes to nation-building, said Bollywood superstar Akshay Kumar on Monday.
The actor was speaking at a press conference where he was asked to comment on the boycott calls on social media against his upcoming film “Raksha Bandhan” as well as “Laal Singh Chaddha”, starring Aamir Khan. Both films are set to be released Thursday.
“If you don’t feel like watching the movie, then don’t. It’s a free country and the film is out there, so if someone wants to watch it or not, it’s up to them.
“I would like to tell you, no matter which industry it is, be it the clothing industry, film industry or anything else, all of these help the economy. But doing things like boycotting movies, it doesn’t make sense,” Akshay told reporters in Kolkata.
The actor, who was in the city to promote “Raksha Bandhan”, also appealed to people to not indulge in such trends.
“We are on the verge of making our country the biggest and the greatest. So I would just request them don’t get into it and I would also request you (reporter) don’t get into all this. It’ll be better for our country only,” he added.
Last week, hashtags calling for the boycott of “Laal Singh Chaddha” were trending on social media. Asked to comment on the social media trends, Aamir said he was saddened by the boycott calls and urged the audience to not snub his film.
Later, similar hashtags against Akshay’s “Raksha Bandhan” also popped up on online platforms.
Directed by Aanand L Rai, the film follows Raju (Akshay), a shop owner who is struggling to get his four younger sisters married. It features Sadia Khateeb, Sahejmeen Kaur, Deepika Khanna and Smrithi Srikanth in the role of Kumar’s on-screen sisters.
One of the issues at the centre of the upcoming film is the malpractice of dowry, which the actor said is “unfortunately” still prevalent in society.
“In the name of a gift to the groom’s household, some parents of a girl call it dowry… My film talks about the problem. It has many elements which are relatable,” he said.
Akshay further said he endorses the call by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to hoist the tricolour at every household from August 13-15.
“In the 75th year of our independence, I endorse the call by our honourable PM. Every patriotic Indian should do the same,” he added.
“Raksha Bandhan” also stars Bhumi Pednekar.