Akshay Kumar: I Am A Feminist!!
Hi!BLITZ|February 2017

While he’s undoubtedly wowed us on the big screen with his daredevilry and rakish looks, off-screen too we can’t help but be secretly charmed by Akshay Kumar. For being the couple of picture-perfectness after 15 years of marriage to Twinkle Khanna, bursting with pride whenever he talks about his kids or being vehement about his views on gender equality. In a candid interview with Farhad J Dadyburjor, the superstar talks about what makes him a feminist, about his relationship with his kids and why he doesn’t consider anyone from Bollywood a fitness icon.

Farhad J Dadyburjor

When it comes to social or political issues, Bollywood has often been accused of voicing its outrage selectively—only when it affects them personally. While the recent vandalism on the Padmavati sets and assault on Sanjay Leela Bhansali saw a unified front of actors and filmmakers hit out against this act of barbarianism, not so scathing was the dissent against the horrific sexual assault on women in Bengaluru on New Year’s Eve. One of the few people who did speak out though was Akshay Kumar, angered and disgusted by what he saw on the news. Through a video that went viral he shamed the cowardly nature of those men by saying “a nation which cannot respect its daughters, it doesn’t deserve to be called a human society,” encouraging women to learn martial arts so as to protect themselves and fight back...

What is your advice to women in India as a means of empowerment? Do you think a large responsibility is on parents to bring up their sons correctly?

I believe it shouldn’t be down to just women all the time having to prove their empowerment mentally and physically… Men, parents and grandparents should all be taking responsibility towards making India a better place for their daughters to live in. Children are sponges, they are not born racists or sexists, they are taught these barbarian traits. Women shouldn’t have to scream from the roof tops to be treated equally; they’ve already been fighting for hundreds of years, when are we going to start treating them how we ourselves would like to be treated! Women shouldn’t have to fight to be heard, or to be respected, they deserve it at birth.

Would you consider yourself a male feminist?

Being a feminist doesn’t come with a gender tag. Yes, I am a feminist because I believe that women must have equal rights and opportunities in society. I want not just my daughter to have the same opportunities as my son, but I want all our daughters to have the same.

When it comes to your kids, between Twinkle and you who is the taskmaster and who is the pamperer?

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