Never Denied I Hold a Canadian Passport: Akshay on Citizenship Row
Actor Akshay Kumar has responded to the growing controversy over his citizenship in a statement claiming that he has never hidden the fact that he holds a Canadian passport.
Akshay’s citizenship status has been called into question over the past few days with many claiming that he holds a Canadian citizenship rather than an Indian one. The debate was only amplified by his conspicuous absence from polling booths when Mumbai went to polls on 29 April despite having recently conducted a “completely non-political” interview with Prime Minister Narendra Modi a few days prior.
I really don’t understand the unwarranted interest and negativity about my citizenship. I have never hidden or denied that I hold a Canadian passport. It is also equally true that I have not visited Canada in the last seven years. I work in India, and pay all my taxes in India. While all these years, I have never needed to prove my love for India to anyone, I find it disappointing that my citizenship issue is constantly dragged into needless controversy, a matter that is personal, legal, non-political, and of no consequence to others. I would like to continue contributing in my small way to the causes that I believe in and make India stronger and stronger.Akshay Kumar
Earlier, while promoting his film Toilet: Ek Prem Katha in a 2017 interview with Times Now, Akshay had clearly claimed that his Canadian citizenship is purely honorary.
However, so far only 6 world leaders have been publicly bestowed with an honorary citizenship by the Canadian government and that does not include Akshay Kumar. The list of honorees consists of Raoul Wallenberg (1985 Posthumous), Nelson Mandela (2001), Tenzin Gyatso a.k.a. The Dalai Lama (2006), Aung San Suu Kyi (2007, but revoked in 2018), Karim Aga Khan IV (2010) and Malala Yousafzai (2014). Honorary citizenships are purely symbolic and an honorary citizen does not hold a Canadian passport.
Akshay was last seen in the patriotic war drama Kesari.