Scam: Akshay Kumar wins 2017 National Film Awards for Rustom has questioned the jury selection

One of the biggest awards has caused maximum heartburn, and rightly so. Akshay Kumar winning the Best Actor award for Rustom is a huge stretch. There were so many better performances by a male actor in 2016, and I’m going to restrict myself to Bollywood for a comparison because I haven’t seen enough of last year’s language cinema – Manoj Bajpayee in Aligarh, Shah Rukh Khan in Fan, Sushant Singh Rajput in M S Dhoni, Aamir Khan in Dangal, Rajat Kapoor in Kapoor & Sons; even Akshay himself was better in Airlift.

So why Akshay in Rustom?

These are the kinds of tough questions that a strong jury ought to be prepared to answer. But the maddening opacity that colours all processes that lead to awards does not let that happen.

Till then, if and when it ever happens, the national awards will always been surrounded by whispers of nepotism and favoritism. And because these are the only awards which still have some legitimacy, it is even more important that more and more transparency becomes part of it.

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