Akshay Kumar responds to the National Award controversy. Says, 'Take it back if you want'

After 30 years of a commercially successful career, Akshay Kumar won his very first National Award for his work in the 2016 Biographical drama - Rustam. The decision, however turned into a big controversy, as a vast majority of people expressed their disagreement over the verdict and stated that it was not deserving of the prestigious honor.

The front-runner for this year's 'Best Actor' award was Manoj Bajpayee who delivered one of his career-best performances in Hansal Mehta's 'Aligarh', another story based on the real-life events surrounding the tragic incident of Aligarh University professor, Shrinivas Ramchandra Siras, getting expelled from his job after being caught in a compromising position with another man. An incident that sparked nationwide debate on homosexuality - an issue that is still largely misunderstood in India.

Apart from Bajpayee, Aamir Khan who created major buzz for his physical transformation in last year's record-breaking blockbuster 'Dangal' was also in the front-race for the award, alongside Randeep Hooda for Sarabjit and Sushant Singh Rajput for MS Dhoni: The Untold Story.

Kumar, was really the least likely of all possible winners - so it took everyone by surprise when he won over the other much appreciated and acclaimed performances. Many claimed the decision was influenced by the Jury's chair-person 'Priyadarshan', who happens to be a friend of Akshay and has worked with him in a number of films.

Apparently, the criticism didn't go down well with Akshay, who in a recent press conference expressed that such controversies are common as people always have their own favorites who they want to see win instead of the other and if it pleases, they can take the award back.

He was reportedly quoted telling reporters, “I’ve been hearing it for past 25 years, whenever someone wins there is some discussion around it. This is not new. Someone or the other always creates a controversy. ‘He shouldn’t have won, the other person should have. It’s okay. I’ve won this after 26 years, ‘agar woh bhi aapka mann kare toh le lo.”

Indian film awards have lately been surrounded with growing controversies involving political influences and favoritism, where popular choices win over the actual deserving ones. Akshay's win over Bajpayee and Aamir provided a fuel to the much-debated topic.

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