'But the most important thing is that he looks after the country. That’s why more important than watching a film.'
Akshay Kumar discusses Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, his ode to the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan started by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Akshay Kumar recently lauded the work of Mumbai’s clean-up marshals and offered to hear out their problems.
The actor is promoting his new film Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, which is an ode to the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan started by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Akshay said that the issues raised in the film were not restricted to rural areas, as Mumbaikars also openly defecated on beaches and railway tracks. Akshay said that it was the responsibility of every citizen to keep the city clean.
“The writers brought the subject to me,” he says. “Interestingly, this script was doing the rounds in the industry for over four years. It went to a lot of heroes but nobody picked it up. I liked it and I asked (co-producer) Neeraj Pandey to give it to me. Earlier, the film was named Sandaas: Ek Prem Katha but the title was changed.”
Anupam Kher, who plays an important role in the film, claims he relates to the cause.
“For 19 years, my entire family used one toilet, which was in a poor condition,” Kher says. “Open defecation is a huge issue, especially for the ladies. Not having access to a toilet is an assault on privacy. As an actor, we are also here to create awareness among people.”
One of the songs Hans Mat Pagle from Toilet has been criticised for showing Akshay’s character Keshav stalking and trying to click a picture of Bhumi Pednekar’s character Jaya.
"It is just a character,” he clarifies. “My character is trying to take a picture of Bhumi's character. Yes, you can say it's wrong but I can't show only good things, right?”
Will he host a special screening for the Prime Minister?
“I would love to,” he replies. “But the most important thing is that he looks after the country. That’s why more important than watching a film.”
Directed by Shree Narayan Singh, Toilet: Ek Prem Katha to release on August 11.
In the picture: Akshay poses with the 'real crusaders of change, BMC's clean-up marshals.' Photograph: Akshay Kumar/ Instagram