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Amitabh BachchanAkshay Kumar replaces Amitabh in Deepa Mehta film
10th Oct 2008  19.10 IST

With Amitabh Bachchan relieved from Deepa Mehta's film 'Komagata Maru', the reigning superstar Akshay Kumar has stepped in to play the lead role.

Big B, Mehta's original choice to play the protagonist Gurdit Singh in the film (also titled Exclusion ), has been dropped from the project because the film's co-financier, the Canadian government, has laid the condition that the main actors in the film have to be Canadian citizens.

Now, Akshay Kumar, who has a permanent resident status of Canada, has been roped in to play the part.

Speaking about working with Deepa Mehta , Akshay told a news agency: "I am not used to working with Oscar nominated directors so it is a great privilege for me to work with Deepa Mehta."

Talking about the film's subject, Akshay said: "The subject of this film has moved me, as it is a true representation and a testimony to human struggle for freedom, justice and equality. I want to portray this real life tragedy to the world identifying how injustice was done to innocent people."

Interestingly, after Singh Is Kinng , Akshay gets to play a Sikh again in Mehta's film.

"It's an honour for me to play one of the bravest Sikhs, Gurdit Singh, in this tragic forgotten moment in history. I salute those brave souls who sacrificed their lives for justice and equality", he said.


Set in 1914, the movie tells the tale of Indians who fled the country and sailed for Canada to escape persecution at the hands of the British. It was a voyage marked with tragedy. The Indians on the ship, Komagata Maru, weren't allowed to enter Canada and remained bound on the vessel while a two-month long legal battle followed, which the Indians lost. Dejected and homeless, the Indians on the ship sailed back to India. Upon reaching India the ship came under fire from the British forces and many innocents lost their lives.

The voyage was carried under the leadership of Gurdit Singh, the protagonist of Mehta's movie.

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