Boycotting films in a free country like India does not make sense because cinema as an industry also contributes to nation-building, said Bollywood superstar Akshay Kumar on Monday (August 22).
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.
“If you do not feel like watching the movie, then do not. It is 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 does not make sense,” Akshay told reporters.
The actor also appealed to people not to indulge in such trends. “We are on the verge of making our country the biggest and the greatest. So I would just request them not to get into it and I would also request you (reporter) not to get into all this. It will 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 not to 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.