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Sunday, Sep 15, 2019

Akshay Kumar: The ‘No Toilet, No Bride’ rule has taken India by storm

Actor Akshay Kumar’s film Toilet: Ek Prem Katha has crossed the 125-crore mark. He says that his real joy is not in the numbers but in the message that the film has managed to spread.

bollywood Updated: Aug 28, 2017 17:21 IST
Monika Rawal Kukreja
Monika Rawal Kukreja
Hindustan Times
Actor Akshay Kumar and Bhumi Pednekar’s Toilet: Ek Prem Katha highlighted the issue of open defecation in rural India.
Actor Akshay Kumar and Bhumi Pednekar’s Toilet: Ek Prem Katha highlighted the issue of open defecation in rural India.(Shivam Saxena/HT Photo)

As Toilet: Ek Prem Katha continues to roar at the box office, crossing the 125-crore mark, the film’s lead actor Akshay Kumar says that he never expected to win the number game. “I never wanted to focus on the money this film could make, only the awareness it could create,” says Akshay.

Glad that Hollywood actor and philanthropist Matt Damon has also watched the film and shared words of appreciation, Akshay feels that such support definitely helps in spreading the message.

“When mentors and idols from across the world welcome your efforts with open arms and in such a respectful nature towards your hard work, it’s humbling beyond comprehension. When you set out to do good, even more good comes back to you, and that’s the karma circle at its best,” he adds.

‪Keshav has begun the Toilet Revolution with Kajaria! @ToiletTheFilm @kajaria.ceramics

A post shared by Akshay Kumar (@akshaykumar) on

Akshay has established himself as an actor who chooses content-driven characters; it’s only a bonus that his films usually cross the 100-crore mark fastest. “With such success, you can’t have complacency. Instead one has a ridiculous amount of responsibility,” he says.

“I believe,” he adds, “that the entertainment industry has the power and influence to make India a better, safer, and more hygienic country to love and live [in]. Just by educating the people sometimes via comedy, you can spread awareness on [critical] issues of today, so they can finally be gone tomorrow.”

On viewer reactions to Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, Akshay says, “The best part of our journey has been hearing, reading and receiving all kinds of wonderful information about women taking a strong stand before a marriage proposal can take place. The ‘No Toilet, No Bride’ rule has taken India by storm.”

Hopeful that the film will contribute to the rise of a stronger and more determined generation, Akshay says, “It feels good to hear [of] so many women finally having a safer, more comfortable way of living since the film has released, because now they feel their voice and their choice matters.”

About those who called Toilet: Ek Prem Katha an “agenda film” and part of BJP propaganda, Akshay asserts that “not everything is about politics” and one has to take charge of things and not always expect the government to act. He says, “Isn’t it true there’s always a few that want to defecate on one’s parade? Those few people need to drop the cynicism and have a little faith that some people in this world just want to make things better. It’s not only the BJP that wants to clean India; Indians want to clean India also, so let’s not tarnish efforts by slandering our motives.”

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First Published: Aug 28, 2017 17:11 IST