It was at the beginning of the year that Akshay Kumar posted a video on social media and talked about the idea of a portal where the common Indian could easily contribute money to the families of martyrs. It received overwhelming response from the public. Just a few months down the line, a portal titled ‘Bharat ke Veer’ was launched with the assistance of the Narendra Modi government.

The portal has been a hit even though it hasn’t been publicized much. In the three months that the portal has been functioning, around 8 crore rupees have been collected for the families of our martyrs.

The concept of the portal is that people can contribute money directly to the bank account of a martyr’s family and a maximum of 15 lakh can be contributed to one family. Once that amount is reached for a family, the account is automatically closed and no more contributions can be made.

There are many in our country who desired to help the families of our martyrs but they had no conceivable way to do so. They had no way to reach a martyr’s family directly. The ‘Bharat ke Veer’ portal enabled them to do exactly that.

There are some, especially in the media, who mock Akshay by saying that he isn’t even an Indian resident, he’s Canadian. I won’t even go into that discussion because that’s completely irrelevant. Those who criticize and mock him on the basis of his birth or citizenship are the lowest of brains because they give this aspect more importance than the deeds of the person.

Is it in any way sensible to propagate that the actions of person are less significant that his or her birth or citizenship? And these are the very people who call for equality and no discrimination on the basis of religion or caste! Let’s say for once that he isn’t an Indian citizen. Now –

  • In 2015, he donated 90 lakh rupees to drought-hit farmers. When asked about this he refused to talk and said, “I don’t want to talk about it. I feel it is stupidity to talk about charity. I feel embarrassed to answer all these things. I have never spoken about it.”
  • In December 2015, he extended help to the people of flood-hit Chennai by donating Rs 1 crore for relief work.
  • In October 2016, he donated 9 lakh rupees to the family of a martyred BSF jawan. The jawan was killed after being targeted by Pakistani snipers.
  • In August 2016, he donated 80 lakh rupees to the family of army men. He gave 5 lakhs to each family and said our soldiers need money along with respect.
  • In November 2016, he visited a BSF base camp in Jammu to pay tribute to soldiers who have lost their lives in ceasefire violations and encounters. He said on the occasion, “Fortunate that I got the opportunity to come and meet you. I have always said I’m a reel hero, you are the real hero.”
  • He donated Rs 3.60 lakh for an animal welfare organisation called ‘Youth Organisation in Defence of Animals (YODA)’.
  • Akshay also helped a contestant of ‘Khatron Ke Khiladi’ by giving him Rs 25 lakh after knowing that the contestant needed the prize money of the show for his father’s cancer treatment.
  • The sudden death of an international stuntman affected Akshay gravely. So, he asked the producers to pay the stuntmen the same amount he is paid to do particular stunts.

A rough and rather conservative estimate would say that he’s donated over 3 crore rupees for a variety of causes (excluding the help that he’s enabled for the families of soldiers through his idea of the ‘Bharat ke Veer’ portal).

After reading this, does it matter what citizenship he has? He does more for those in need than probably anyone in the film industry. The only other name that comes to mind is Nana Patekar who is a selfless soul. Do the Khans or the Kapoors or the Bachchans or the Roshans do even half of what Akshay does even though they have the capacity to? Most celebrities are reduced to sending out tweets when something grave occurs; some don’t even do that.

You may not like him for his acting, but that is no reason to dislike his philanthropy. I feel that only those who do the same for our nation have the moral right to criticize him. And how does nationality even matter? Arundhati Roy was born in Assam and she abuses our republic and our army on every damn podium. There are journalists like Rana Ayyub, morons like Kanhaiya and Sheila Rashid, who’re born in India but abuse us. Do haters prefer that?


Vinayak Jain

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