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Guess Who Akshay Kumar's Hero Was!

Source: PTI
June 02, 2022 18:24 IST
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No, it was not Prithviraj Chauhan.

IMAGE: Akshay Kumar and Manushi Chhillar at the Prithviraj Chauhan statue at Qila Rai Pithora in Delhi. Photograph: Kamal Singh/PTI

The education ministry needs to take cognisance of the contribution of Hindu kings and 'balance' out their stories with those of Mughal emperors, who enjoy more space in school texts, says Akshay Kumar.

Ahead of the release of his film Samrat Prithviraj, a historical action drama based on the warrior Rajput king, the actor said, "It's sad we don't know about our own kings."

"There were only three-four lines about Samrat Prithviraj in the history books that I read. Thanks to this film, I got to know so much about him. I don't think anyone else also knew about him," Kumar told PTI in an interview.

"When I was talking to my son about him (Prithviraj), he said, 'I know about the British empire, Mughal empire, but who's he?' So it's a sad thing that we don't know about our own kings. There were only a few lines about Rana Pratap, Rani of Jhansi but there are a lot of chapters on the Mughals," he added.

Kumar described his film, which was earlier titled Prithviraj and was rechristened following protests by the Shree Rajput Karni Sena, as an 'educational film set in a commercial way'.

"I would appeal to the education ministry to try and (bring about) balance and bring our culture, Hindu kings also in our textbooks," Kumar said.

IMAGE: Akshay Kumar pays tribute to Prithviraj Chauhan at Qila Rai Pithora. Photograph: Kamal Singh/PTI

Kumar was in Delhi to promote his film and paid floral tributes at Qila Rai Pithoragarh, a south Delhi complex housing a statue of Prithviraj Chauhan.

Samrat Prithviraj, produced by Yash Raj Films, is directed by Dr Chandraprakash Dwivedi.

Kumar said he was surprised when Dr Dwivedi, known for directing the 1991 television show Chanakya and the 2003 Partition film Pinjar, approached him for the project.

He also weighed in on the 'north versus south' cinema debate, saying he would rather talk about uniting film industries from across the country than commenting on a non-issue.

"Both industries are one. The British ruled over us for 200 years using 'Divide and Rule'; we are dividing (our country) again by doing all these things. We are India. They are making films in their mother tongue, we are making films in our mother tongue.

"We should talk about uniting us. Let's say, Allu Arjun and I do a film together or Shah Rukh and Vijay are working on a film. Let's wish for such things. Not things like 'They are eating into your (film's) business'," he argued.

Responding to the recent controversy on India's national language, Kumar said, "All languages are national languages."

"I'm happy speaking my mother tongue (Punjabi), I think my mother tongue is the best. A Tamil person thinks his (language) is the best. I don't understand what the debate is about. We are all in one culture, one country.

"There was suddenly a roar about all this and I didn't understand what was wrong with us. After reading so much history, we are still fighting about is 'my language is okay, that language is wrong'. I believe in just being together," said Kumar, who is currently shooting for the Hindi remake of the 2020 Tamil film Soorarai Pottru.

Kumar, who completed three decades in cinema last year, said he hopes to keep working.

"I just want to keep on working till they have to shoot me down. I only know how to do this work. A lot of business opportunities come up, but I don't get into them much. I have made some investments in some businesses. That's all I know.

"But I can't run a business. There's no point about getting into something one has no knowledge about. In the coming 30 years, I see myself working in this industry. I can't go anywhere else," he added.

As a child, the actor said he had been more into stories than studies.

"My parents would tell me a lot of stories. Growing up, I watched films and read comics on Tarzan. So my hero was Tarzan. I used to love comics such as Amar Chitra Katha, Mandrake the Magician, Bahadur, Phantom, etc."

 

IMAGE: Akshay Kumar screened his film for Home Minister Amit Anilchandra Shah and writes, 'A very emotional and proud evening for me. Had the rare honour of having Hon'ble Home Minister Amit Shahji watch #SamratPrithviraj. उनकी हमारी फ़िल्म के लिए प्रशंसा ने हमारी मेहनत सफल कर दी! Ever so thankful @amitshahofficial.' Photograph: Kind courtesy Akshay Kumar/Instagram

IMAGE: 'Honoured and humbled to meet the Honourable Home Minister of India Shri Amit ShahJi and all the other esteemed guests today at the special screening of #SamratPrithviraj in New Delhi', posts Manushi Chhillar. Photograph: Kind courtesy Manushi Chhillar/Instagram

Home Minister Amit Anilchandra Shah watched Samrat Prithviraj at a special screening in Delhi on Wednesday, June 1.

The minister's family members, several ministers like Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal, Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur and Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, top Union home ministry officials and others were present at the screening.

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