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  Entertainment   Bollywood  04 May 2019  Passport to patriotism

Passport to patriotism

Published : May 4, 2019, 11:00 pm IST
Updated : May 5, 2019, 12:04 am IST

Bollywood star Akshay Kumar issues a statement defending his Canadian citizenship and Yet he is heavily trolled on Twitter.

Akshay Kumar
 Akshay Kumar

He’s the A-lister with a Midas Touch.  Bollywood superstar, Akshay Kumar flaunts his patriotism on his sleeve. In the recent years, especially with his recent choice of films too, he has carefully built an image of being nationalistic — just what the BJP party appreciates — and shared a close rapport with the higher ups in the BJP.

Akshay Kumar strongly denies any political ambitions but was handpicked by our Prime Minister to host a ‘non-political’ interview in the middle of the ongoing elections. That’s the clout he has!

Unfortunately, this was too much of a good run to last; as now the 50-plus actor is in the eye of a storm, over his Canadian passport. The controversy first arose, when the actor did not go to vote. He chose to stay mum over his absence, leading to speculation over his passport. Finally, he took to his twitter account this morning to issue a strongly worded statement.

“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. Lastly, I would like to continue contributing in my small way to the causes I believe in and make India stronger and stronger, ” he tweeted.

However, this clarification has not really worked in the actor’s favour as Akshay is being trolled majorly online. People are comparing him to music maestro A.R. Rahman, who turned down the offer of a Canadian citizenship by saying that, “Thank you, but TN is home.”

There are now old videos being posted, where Akshay while accepting the citizenship says that he loves Canada so much that he plans to settle there one he retires from films!

Shaina NC, BJP spokesperson, defended the actor by saying, “Akshay Kumar had every right to interview the Prime Minister. Every Indian citizen has the right to interview the PM or to know about him or his vision plans.

I think it’s time we moved beyond boundaries that are stereotypical and that it’s imperative for citizens of Indian origin world over to know more about the PM. Citizenship shouldn’t be a marker of patriotism. Indian origin should be a marker of patriotism.”

But reason why Akshay is being criticised is because he has been desperately trying to project himself as this super patriot. Therefore it appears that people are disappointed.

South Indian actress Priyamani, too supports Akshay. She says, “This is an honorary citizenship. I don’t understand what is wrong if he has a Canadian citizenship. With what ever money he earns either through production houses or even endorsements, he is doing a lot by supporting farmers, army families etc.

It’s very inspirational what he does. It is baseless to make a controversy on the fact that he holds a Canadian citizenship.”

Akshay’s National Award is being questioned

After Akshay Kumar announced on Twitter that he was holding a Canadian passport, questions are now being raised about whether he was eligible to get a National Film Award for his film Rustom in April 2017.

Apruva Asrani editor and writer of films like Aligarh and editor of films like Satya raised a query on Twitter on the eligibility of Kumar for the award. “Yes, this is a very important question. Are Canadian citizens eligible for India’s National Awards? In 2016 Akshay Kumar won ‘Best Actor’, we were expecting Manoj Bajpayee to win for Aligarh. If the jury/ministry has made an error in Kumar’s case, will there be a revote??” he tweeted leading to a debate.

Asrani also pointed out in the cast of 36 Chowringhee Lane vs Umrao Jaan when Jennifer Kendall, a British citizen married to Shashi Kapoor was not given the award and Rekha got it.

“There was a controversy of sorts when Jennifer Kendell was not given the National Award for 36 Chowringhee Lane owing to her British roots. It went to Rekha, who also alluded to this fact,” he mentioned.

Benefits OF holding a foreign passport?

Akshay says he continues to pay his taxes in India. What are the benefits of a foreign passport while living in India?

“According to the Income Tax Act 1961, if a resident has lived in India in the previous year for 182 days or has lived for 60 days in the previous year and 365 days in the past 4 years then he/she is liable to pay the tax.  

Income of a person is said to be taxable in India on the basis of residential status and not on the basis of his citizenship status. Therefore, if a person is not a citizen of India but satisfies the basic conditions of residential status, he is liable to pay tax on his income in India.

Now, it is true that every law has a loophole and in this case it is the ‘Double taxation avoidant agreement’.

This is applicable in cases where an individual is a resident of one nation, but earns income in another.

So, if Akshay Kumar has an income from Canada as well as India then through this treaty he can get a tax exemption from one of the two countries,” says chartered accountant K Ravi,  immediate past president, Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

— Sanskriti Media

Tags: akshay kumar, midas touch, foreign passport