Op-ed: Canada should strip Akshay Kumar’s citizenship after his stand against Rihanna

The Bollywood star has joined the backlash against people showing solidarity with protesting Indian farmers

Two of the world’s most famous stars are on opposite sides in a social-media battle over the fate of India’s farmers.

Akshay Kumar, a high-profile Bollywood star, has lent his support to the #IndiaAgainstPropaganda campaign.

And that demands prompt action from the Canadian government, which awarded citizenship to Kumar several years ago.

The #IndiaAgainstPropaganda campaign is in response to Rihanna’s tweet in support of agitating farmers of India.  

Thousands of farmers are protesting near the Indian capital of New Delhi against controversial farming laws that favour corporate control over the agro industry. This threatens the livelihood of the cultivators.  

Rihanna has showed her solidarity with the farmers.

This has invited a backlash from supporters of India’s ruling right-wing Hindu nationalist government, which is accusing her of spreading false propaganda.  

Many prominent Indian stars, who should have followed Rihanna, instead took to social media to support the government’s campaign. Not to be left behind was Akshay Kumar, who was given Canadian citizenship by the previous Conservative government in 2011.

Those attacking Rihanna see her tweet as foreign interference and an “anti-national” act.  

If Kumar is so obsessed with the Indian government, he should better renounce his Canadian citizenship. How can he be hypocritical about a genuine show of concern coming from outside the country while at the same time keeping foreign citizenship?  

If he is so keen to please those in power, then he must stay there forever and forget about coming to this part of the world to promote his films. And if he does not do so, the Canadian government should strip him off his citizenship.

After all, the Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has already denounced a police assault on peacefully protesting farmers, while other national leaders have also expressed their resentment over this issue.  

Since South Asians have held demonstrations across Canada against the farming laws and mistreatment of Indian farmers, this would be the most appropriate thing to do.  

Kumar will learn a lesson that he isn’t welcome to Canada if he cannot stand up for the farmers in India, not to mentions religious minorities and political dissidents who are under constant attack from the authorities and Hindu fanatics. 

His deafening silence on such issues was one thing, but his coming out so openly in support of an intolerant regime clearly shows where his ideological affiliation and loyalties lie.

Gurpreet Singh is cofounder of Radical Desi magazine and Indians Abroad for Pluralist India. This op-ed originally appeared in the Georgia Straight.



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One response to “Op-ed: Canada should strip Akshay Kumar’s citizenship after his stand against Rihanna”

  1. Completely Agree with Gurpreet on this and everything else. Loved reading his stuff from the Straight for years.
    Bigger question is why are we letting in so many Indian Hindus into Canada? Seriously, I come from a South Asian Muslim background and seen so much Islamaphobia coming from right wing Hindus. Whether it be their opposition to Muslim loudspeaker prayers, collaboration with neo-Nazis over Muslim prayers in school. Hell, I remember when Hindu groups in the US (NYC) worked with white nationalists, Jewish and Christian fascists to oppose the ‘World Trade Center’ mosque.
    Given their close collaboration with Modi and Hindu extremists abroad and complete willingness to promote hatred against an identifiable religious and racial grouping, I wouldn’t say don’t just strip Kumar’s citizenship but many others who don’t accept Canadian values of tolerance and freedom of speech towards others.

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