Some Call It Gift, I Would Call It Extortion

Akshay Kumar shared this picture. (courtesy: akshaykumar)

Bollywood star Akshay Kumar on Wednesday said that dowry is like “extortion” and the malpractice continues in India even today.

It is in “layers”, the actor said, referring to the deeper social evil.

“We cannot disagree that there is a lot of dowry in India. It is in layers. Some call it dowry, gift, ‘sankalp’. It has different names.

“Some people demand that they want to get married in a big way. I would call it extortion. Fathers, brothers are not so capable, and yet they try to do as much as they can so that it (marriage) happens. Akshay Kumar told reporters here.

The National Award winner was speaking at a promotional event for his latest release ‘Raksha Bandhan’, which addresses the issue of dowry.

Describing the film directed by Aanand L Rai as a sensitive film, Akshay Kumar said that not many films have been made on the subject.

“If the film works for even 5-10 per cent of the audience, I will feel like the biggest film I have ever made,” he said.

“Raksha Bandhan” is set to hit the theaters on Thursday along with Aamir Khan starrer “Lal Singh Chaddha”.

The actor reiterated that releasing two films on the same date is beneficial for the exhibition industry. “It is only good for the industry that both the films do well. The industry needs it (more and more films to come) today and in the future as well.

He said, “I see that the glass is half full, not half empty. There is no conflict, no impact (at the box office). Both the films should work and we support each other.”

Aanand L Rai, who was present at the event, said that the story of the film took shape during the first lockdown amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“Raksha Bandhan” follows Raju (Akshay Kumar), a shop owner, who is struggling to get his four younger sisters married. It stars Saadia Khatib, Sahajmin Kaur, Deepika Khanna and Smriti Shrikant in the role of Akshay Kumar’s on-screen sisters.

“Directors get ideas to make their films from the world around them. During the pandemic-induced lockdown, we had by default started spending a lot of time at home with our family members. I realized that we had Wasn’t given the time to the family, the time they deserve,” said the filmmaker.

With “Raksha Bandhan”, Aanand L Rai said it aims to bring the audience back to the theaters to watch a family entertainer.

“I also thought as a producer that maybe we haven’t given films where we can invite the whole family to the theatres. Over the years, directors have changed the meaning of family films. We have made those films. Not even a family entertainer anymore,” he said. The film also stars Bhumi Pednekar.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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