Why these Bollywood stars can't vote but can do dynamite desh prem dramas!
It's not enough to portray desh ki seva on the silver screen. To express it, you must queue up to vote. But these stars, despite their fine lines, can't do that.
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Even as millions of Indian citizens line up in the heat and dust of the Lok Sabha 2019 elections, waiting patiently — yet, so excitedly — to cast their crucial vote, there are some iconic 'Indians' out there who are apparently not able to join this particular queue.
Ironically, these are movie stars who have, in recent times, come to stand for high-voltage desh prem, Bharatiya sanskaar and the idea of India on the big screen.
The names include 'Mr Bharat 2.0' Akshay Kumar himself, Alia Bhatt and Katrina Kaif.
Akshay Kumar has made playing nationalistic characters with bombastic 'Bharat Mata ki Jai' dialogues a fine art. Last seen, he was playing a deeply patriotic Sikh havildar in Kesari, a nationalistic film which rocked the box office. His earlier films, from Pad Man to Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, have shown him playing characters whose love for his country and society triumphs over great odds. Given his choice of subjects, frequently drawn from PM Modi's most loved social welfare schemes like Swachch Bharat et al, Kumar has also faced speculation about growing closer and closer — aur paas, as Bollywood would put it — to the saffron nationalist cause.
No vote for nationalistic 'Kesari'. (Source: Instagram /@team_ak_)
Yet, for all that jazz, Kumar can't vote — because he is reportedly a Canadian citizen! News reports suggest Akshay Kumar was offered citizenship of Canada some years ago, which he apparently accepted. As India doesn't allow dual citizenship, the star of patriotic pictures including the sporting drama Gold reportedly decided to give up his desh ki dharti-wala passport instead.
So much for being a son of the soil Kesari-nandan-type, eh!
And joining him in not voting is Alia Bhatt who starred in the intensely patriotic film Raazi, redefining Indian nationalism through her portrayal of a Kashmiri spy — who even kills her own Pakistani husband in her desh ki seva.
However, in real life, Alia apparently holds a British passport — and hence will not be joining all the Gully Boys in the voting queues.
That Katrina Kaif can't act, sorry, vote in India is not really a huge surprise, given that her alleged British passport has been known of for some years now.
What is a surprise though is that Katrina, whose Hindi remains a matter of some humour, continues to act in heavily patriotic films including Ek Tha Tiger and Tiger Zinda Hai where she plays nationalistic spy Salman Khan's better half. Katrina will soon be seen with Salman again as the (undoubtedly nationalistic) lead in Bharat.
Ironies never cease.
Thankfully, neither does real desh prem!