Akshay Kumar is leaving no stone unturned to promote his film PadMan which tells the real-life story of Arunachalam Muruganantham, who revolutionised the concept of menstrual hygiene in rural India by creating a low-cost sanitary napkin machine.
But the actor was slammed left, right and centre on social media for using the flag of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad's (ABVP, a student organisation affiliated to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) to flag-off Women Marathon at Delhi University on January 22. The marathon was organised to drive home the message of women empowerment and demanding tax-exemption on sanitary napkins.
"Flagged off Delhi University's Women Marathon. These lovely ladies are taking the cause of women empowerment forward and running for tax-free sanitary pads #PadManInDelhi," Akshay Kumar wrote while sharing an image of him waving ABVP flag to the crowd.
His gesture irked the left wing people who started criticising Akshay for allegedly showing off his political inclination openly in public and slammed him for supporting the group which they blamed to show "no respect for women". On the other hand, the right wing, showered praise on him for holding the saffron flag in his hand.
Sir please don't make ur political associations and aspirations so obvious— sundeep kailwoo (@sundeepkailwoo) January 22, 2018
So, @akshaykumar you found ABVP the most appropriate platform for promoting #PadMan? Quite opportunist. Don't you know they are the one who stand up against women's free choice in campuses? @mrsfunnybones would really like to know your opinion. You are the story writer.— sucheta de (@sucheta_ml) January 22, 2018
Mr. @akshaykumar is a Canadian citizen. In Canada, members of minorities, such as Akshay Kumar himself, enjoy full civil, political and cultural rights. Back home, Mr. Kumar holds the flag of student wing of RSS which wants to wipe out minorities & gives rape threats to women! pic.twitter.com/Qk2bbj2Std— Shehla Rashid (@Shehla_Rashid) January 23, 2018
Akshay Kumar hoisted the flag of ABVP at Delhi University during Promotion of #PadMan , nothing new and special 4 @RSSorg but it has surely given sleepless night 4 fake seculars. RSS is available to guide & support all whosoever wants to work 4 Bharat Mata with Hindu lifestyle. pic.twitter.com/GFiEvlhHM4— khemchand sharma (@SharmaKhemchand) January 23, 2018
Dear @akshaykumar when members of ABVP whose flag u waved molested women in Jadavpur, BJP leader @DilipGhoshBJP said the women were "shameless" coz they displayed sanitary pads to resist menstrual taboos. Is this the ethos of #PadMan @mrsfunnybones? https://t.co/GOjIOys40n pic.twitter.com/cwhicsRGGB— Kavita Krishnan (@kavita_krishnan) January 23, 2018
While people from the film fraternity have always spoken about keeping one's political ideologies away from showbiz, it remains to be seen whether Akshay's actions will help him or backfire at the time of the release of his film.