Another year. Another controversy surrounding the National Film Awards. The National Award for best actor is reserved for Akshay Kumar’s turn as a cuckolded naval officer in Rustom. While some people expressed their happiness on social media, there were others who thought that he didn’t deserve it over actors such as Manoj Bajpayee (Aligarh) and Aamir Khan (Dangal).
source: Being Indian
Some even trolled him brutally in the same regard.
source: Filmy Beat
This announcement of the 64th National Awards made a huge furor over the jury’s decision to honor Akshay Kumar with the Best Actor Award for Rustom. Many in social media are attributing Akshay’s win to his close proximity to Priyadarshan who is jury chairperson in Feature Films category.
But the director said,”When Ramesh Sippy was jury head Amitabh Bachchan won. When Prakash Jha was head of the jury, Ajay Devgan won. So none questioned at that time. So why all these questions are cropping up today”. He also clarified that Akshay’s performance in Rustom and Airlift were considered by the jury during the selection process. However, as only the name of one film could be mentioned, the list featured the courtroom drama ‘Rustom’, he said. Should we not have honored Akshay Kumar because we’ve worked together? If he’s good, he’s good, no matter who honors him.
Some also believe that Akshay’s victory at the National Awards is due to his fondness for the current government and their policies and not necessarily because of his performance in Rustom as Akshay is seen as a huge supporter of the ruling NDA government, particularly the BJP.
While many think there were other, more deserving actors for the award, some who supported the choice of giving Akshay the award were surprised that he received it for Rustom, despite giving a stellar performance in Airlift. All this has led to the severe backlash on social media.
source: Bollywood Life
The national awards will always have been surrounded by whispers of nepotism and favoritism. And because these are the only awards which still have some legitimacy, it is even more important that more and more transparency becomes part of it.