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A new low, Akshay?

Actor’s visit to ailing artist RK Laxman in hospital slammed as cheap publicity.

entertainment Updated: Jul 14, 2010 01:37 IST
Minakshi Saini

When actor Akshay Kumar visited ailing cartoonist RK Laxman in hospital, little did he know that his photo-op would cause an outrage among fans and critics.

The actor, whose character in his latest film Khatta Meetha is based on Laxman’s iconic ‘Common Man’, visited 86-year-old Laxman on Saturday to “get blessings” for the film.

Akshay Kumar"I am repulsed to see what length Bollywood goes to promote a film," tweeted VJ Nikhil Chinapa. "Need innovative ideas 2 promote films. But Akshay grinning like a jackass at RK Laxman’s hospital bed is a new low," posted film critic Rajeev Masand.

Filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt felt Kumar may have a crossed the line, but said, “Who am I to judge his marketing strategy when I myself used Parveen Babi’s tapes to promote Wo Lamhe...”

However, Akshay defends himself by saying, “I was invited by Mr Laxman’s family, as they thought it would be nice to meet the man that is bringing to life his legendary comic. And anyone who sees my smile by his bedside in any other way than love has a cold heart!”

It’s Big B versus Masand
The debate has also led to a war of words between Amitabh Bachchan and Rajeev Masand. “Rajeev! Your fraternity will never pull you up for calling Akshay a ‘jackass’.”

To this, Masand retorted, “However controversial my choice of words, it is me taking a ‘stand’, Sir. Expressing my ‘opinion’. Two words your fraternity seems largely unfamiliar with.”