Canadian passport row: Have applied for Indian documents, says Akshay Kumar

Akshay Kumar

Declaring that he never thought he needed a document to prove his Indianness, Bollywood superstar Akshay Kumar on Friday said he is replacing his Canadian passport with an Indian one following a controversy over his citizenship,.

The 52-year-old actor, who was in the headlines for his interview with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in April, was the subject of intense speculation about his citizenship after he did not vote in Mumbai during the Lok Sabha polls.

Akshay, in a statement at the time, had said he never denied that he held a Canadian passport.

Akshay opened up about the circumstances behind him getting a Canadian passport at the HT Leadership Summit.

"There was a time when 14 films of mine flopped and I thought that I might have to take up something else to support myself. One of my closest friend stays in Canada and he asked me to come there. He said we will work together on something. He is also Indian but stays there.

"Then I started my process, got my passport and other stuff because I thought my career has ended. I won't get work here anymore. It was just that my 15th film worked and after that I never looked back. I kept going on and on. But I never thought of getting my passport replaced," Akshay said.

Following the controversy, he decided to apply for an Indian passport.

"I have now applied for it because I feel sad that people have stuck to this point that I have to show my passport to prove that I'm an Indian. It hurts me. So I don't want to give anyone an opportunity and so I have applied for it," he said.

"My wife (Twinkle Khanna) is Indian and my son (Aarav) is Indian. Everyone in my family is Indian. I pay all my taxes here. My life is here but some people want to say something, so it's ok," he added.

Akshay also opened up about his interview with Modi in April this year, just before the Lok Sabha elections. It attracted praise as well as criticism with some making fun of the questions he posed to the PM.

"I got the opportunity to do that interview and I'm sure that anyone would have grabbed that chance. I was one of those lucky who got that opportunity to do an interview with the PM. I went without any kind of preparation. I just went in and asked him questions as a common person. It was about whatever came in my head," the actor said.

Contrary to what people may believe, he was not given any brief about what to ask to Modi, Akshay said.

"Would they brief me that I ask the PM about mangoes? Do you believe that they would brief me like this? Even he was a little bit taken aback when I asked him all this. I just asked him normal questions and not anything related to policies and other stuff because a lot of journalists have done that. And he was sweet enough to answer everything. He could have easily said that 'throw him out'.

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