Akshaye Khanna not worried by defamation case, welcomes ‘debate’

A lawyer from Muzaffarpur in Bihar registered a case on Wednesday, 2 January, against actors Anupam Kher and Akshaye Khanna for allegedly defaming the image of some top politicians of the country in their forthcoming film The Accidental Prime Minister.

Akshaye Khanna has now reacted to the case. “Let the court decide if this is true,” said the son of the late Vinod Khanna. “Who are we to say anything? I am not a judge.”

Asked if the case had him worried or feeling hurt, Khanna said, “Not at all. For you this is a controversy, but for me it is a debate. This was bound to happen because something new has been tried [in the film]. Let society debate whether such a film should be made. This is what is happening.” 

The film tells the story of former prime minister Manmohan Singh, who was in office from 2004 to 2014. It is based on a book of the same name by Manmohan Singh’s former media adviser Sanjaya Baru.

Anupam Kher has played the role of Manmohan Singh in the film while Khanna has played the role of Baru, who is also the narrator.

During the interaction, Khanna disagreed that the film is a brave or bold attempt at showing real politicians. “There is no bravery,” he remarked. “We are storytellers and actors. Kahe ka bravery? We have told such a beautiful story. You will move out of the theatre smiling. You won’t regret watching it. It’s a light-hearted film, not a serious film. There is a lot of humour in it.” 

The case has been admitted at the Muzaffarpur chief judicial magistrate’s court and the first hearing is slated to take place on Tuesday 8 January. Directed by Vijay Gutte, The Accidental Prime Minister was scheduled to be released on 11 January.

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