Akshay Kumar's winning National Award in the best actor category for his performance in Rustom, in the year of Udta Punjab, Aligarh, and Dangal had already raised several eyebrows.
Now, with a bizarre justification for his selection, 64th National Film Awards jury chairman Priyadarshan, has made it clear that acting ability was not the sole criteria for the selection.
When Mumbai Mirror asked the filmmaker about the controversy over the award, Priyadarshan asked: "There were a total of 38 jury members with me on this. How can you question the decision of so many people?"
He also said he does not know why people have a problem with Akshay being conferred the award for the best actor.
This is was followed by another bizarre comment on why Aamir Khan was not considered for the award for his exceptional performance in Dangal.
Aamir recently said that he wouldn’t personally accept the award if he is given onePriyadarshan, National Film Awards Jury Chairman
He also added that Aamir Khan did not attend the award giving ceremony when Taare Zameen Par won the award in 2008.
"So, why spoil it for some other actor who stood as good a chance of winning the award," he said.
After the awards announcement on Friday, social media was abuzz with memes making fun of Priyadarshan for giving award to his friend Akshay who acted in his 6 movies.
Social media users claimed Priyadarshan’s proximity with the actor after working together in movies Hera Pheri, Garam Masala, Bhagam Bhaag, Bhool Bhulaiya, De Dana Dan and Khatta Meetha, is the reason behind giving the prestigious award to him overlooking several deserved actors including Manoj Bajpayee and Aamir Khan.
Countering this aptly raised question, Priyadarshan said why the same question was not raised when Amitabh Bachchan's won the best actor award when his goof friend Ramesh Sippy was jury chairman.
"I have heard of all that and I will answer it in a simple way. When Ramesh Sippy was jury head Amitabh Bachchan won. When Prakash Jha was head of jury, Ajay Devgn won," he said.
Akshay was given the best actor on the basis of his performance in two films -- Airlift and Rustom. It was the jury’s decision. One performance was dramatic and one was realistic. But according to the rule book, only one film can be mentioned and Rustom was mentioned in the list. But the award recognises his performance in both the moviesPriyadarshan, National Film Awards Jury Chairman
Sharing his opinions about Dangal and Aligarh, the director, well-known for making several popular Malayalam movies, said both the movies are not highlighting social problems.
"While watching the films we realised that a lot of Bollywood movies were themed around homosexuality. The movies are not really highlighting social problems. Whereas regional cinema are themed around fantastic social issues. They try to tell different stories. Even Dangal doesn't talk about social issues. It was a life story," he said.