On Christmas Day, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, reacting to the national outcry over crimes against women, urged girls to learn the martial arts to defend themselves. Now, the CM has support from Bollywood’s martial arts champion, Akshay Kumar, who has made plans to train his newborn daughter, Nitara, in the martial arts when she grows up.
“When Nitara is old enough, it will be my responsibility to personally train her in the martial arts. I believe self-defence is essential for every woman,” says Akshay, adding that this is the need of the hour.
“All the fathers in this country should do the same for their daughters. Women are mentally and emotionally stronger than men, so why not make them physically stronger and self-reliant as well?” says Akshay, who, having obtained a black belt in Taekwondo in India, also studied martial arts in Bangkok, where he focused on Muay Thai, a combat sport from Thailand.
As for the Bihar CM’s statement on martial arts, Akshay agrees with him. “Nitish Kumar urging girls to learn martial arts for self defense and something that I've been in favour of from a long time (sic),” the actor wrote on Twitter.
For a while now, Akshay has also been pushing for martial arts being made part of school and college curricula. “In Singapore, two or three years of army training is compulsory for all civilians. So in essence, every person in that country can double up as an army hand. Why can’t we also put our kids through self-defence training?” he says.
Akshay is involved in promoting martial arts and already hosts the annual Akshay Kumar Karate Tournament in Mumbai. He is also putting together a big-budget film on the combat sports that will kick off next year.