The new Akshay Kumar starrer Kesari which is on the way to earning INR 100 crore at the box-office, has caught the imagination of the Sikh community like no other Hindi film in recent times. Kesari is the first and perhaps only film featuring a non-Sardar leading man playing a Sardar which has not courted controversy. Earlier, movies such as Son of Sardaar and Love Aaj Kal which had lead characters playing Sikhs had found themselves in the midst of controversies, either relating to the religious content in the movie or the way the characters were depicted.
A source close to this winning project says the Sikh community had embraced film from the start. “The Sikhs even did a ceremony at the start of the film to ensure it goes well, and then they were with the film all the way. The Sikhs were proud that one of their bravest soldier heroes, Havaldar Ishar Singh was being put on screen. Now that the film is released, they love it.”
“It does the entire Sikh community proud. Akshay Paaji has immortalized the story of our hero Havaldar Ishar Singh,” says singer-actor Diljit Singh.
Akshay has played the turbaned Sikh hero very successfully but also most controversially in the past in Singh Is Kinng. The film had Sikh organizations coming forward with their objections after its release. Most recently Sikh organizations objected to Abhishek Bachchan smoking in a Sardarji’s turban in Anurag Kashyap’s Manmarziyan.
“I’ve always felt very special while playing a Sardar. Kesari is a film that will always remain close to my heart,” says Akshay Kumar.
Watch the review of Kesari here.