Here's what R Balki has to say about Raj Thackeray's jibe on Padman
R Balki dismisses Raj Thackeray's suggestion that Akshay Kumar-starrers Pad Man and Toilet: Ek Prem Katha were part of government propaganda
Akshay Kumar and Radhika Apte in Pad Man
Yesterday, the goings-on in the Bollywood film fraternity attracted the wrath of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena found Raj Thackeray. In a bid to urge the opposition to unite for a 'Modi-mukt Bharat', the politician not only criticised the government's decision to accord a state funeral to Sridevi after her death, but also claimed that Akshay Kumar's recent ventures, Pad Man and Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, were part of a covert propaganda for government schemes.
"Akshay Kumar is not even an Indian citizen. He holds a Canadian passport and Wikipedia describes him as an Indian-born Canadian actor," he said, questioning the actor's involvement in films that further the cause of Indians.
Pad Man director R Balki, whose film is based on the life of social entrepreneur Arunachalam Muruganantham, says a biopic cannot be part of any propaganda. "My film is based on someone's life, so it obviously cannot be anybody's propaganda. I don't know what he [Thackeray] has stated, but these films are important," Balki said.
Asserting that the projects led to positive conversation around important topics like open-defecation and menstrual hygiene, the director says that few ventures have "achieved what these films have". "They have spread awareness about important issues, and have done it in a way that few other ventures could."
In an interview to mid-day, Kumar had highlighted the importance of using cinema to create awareness about social issues. "I made Pad Man with the hope that families could become aware of the importance of menstrual hygiene. Nobody is interested in speeches or documentaries. They are interested in learning about a subject through films."
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