An Indian victory?

A R Rahman wins Oscar

Do we call it an Indian victory?

That was the question that CNN-IBN panel asked Kamala Haasan (whom the media used to call Kamal Hassan earlier) relating to the Oscar sweep of the movie Slumdog Millionaire. We can see how futile this question is, since Slumdog Millionaire is a British production, directed and produced by a Brit and the major chunk of the technical crew were Brits. Why should India, the nation, celebrate the victory of Slumdog Millionaire? The British have a reason to celebrate but what does India have to call the 8 oscars the movie got as an “Indian victory”? Our celebration should be about the individuals who have won the accolades in the Oscar platform. A R Rahman and Resul Pookutty for the global recognition that they have got.

Adding to the absurdity is a comment from Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit. She reportedly said that Slumdog Millionaire has created history in the field of Indian cinema. How did Slumdog create history in “Indian cinema“? But she doesn’t just stop there and goes on to offer tax exemption for the film. The union Home Minister P Chidambaram has also joined the bandwagon by requesting finance ministry to exempt the film from tax.

Just think about it. So many quality regional language films are struggling in India without getting distributors or theaters to exhibit their films and the government did not do much about helping them promote their films. And then, a British film which was released under a big banner like Fox Searchlight Pictures win Oscars and it gets tax exemption in India. So much for our government’s love for art and cinema.

If the government and politicians are so much moved by the recognition that A R Rahman and Resul Pookkutty received in the Oscar arena, what they should do in return is to help these individuals help others who are interested in the fields of music and cinema. How about offering scholarships or sponsorships for talented but poor youngsters to learn the technical sides of Cinema? Or how about sponsoring talented but poor youngsters to get an entry into a renowned musical institute? Or how about helping A R Rahman to offer the poor but talented youngsters a chance to learn world music from his upcoming musical conservatory? Well, I think we will hardly see any of these happening.

Let me conclude with Kamala Haasan’s answer to CNN-IBN’s question, because he puts it rightly.

This day means something to Danny Boyle, Rahman and to an extent some of the Indians. But it doesn’t mean anything to Indian cinema till Indian cinema tries to make quality films. So when it does that, it will deserve the recognition and it doesn’t mean that we are not making quality cinemas. We are not respecting quality cinemas as it should be. That is because content might be king but placement is very important.

(Image courtesy: IndiaGlitz)

Oscars to India

The 81st Academy Awards have been announced. A R Rahman and Resul Pookkutty made India proud in the event and people everywhere is talking about it. Not so surprisingly, Slumdog Millionaire packed 8 Oscars in the event. I feel sad for Thomas Newman, for his work in Wall-E (for background score) was not recognized but those who appreciate music knows no matter what a bunch of people in the Academy decides, Mr. Newman’s work excels than the rest of the nominations. I am happy for A R Rahman though, as a fan and a fellow Indian, but I still don’t think the song Jai Ho is worthy of an Oscar. A R Rahman has done better work than this in the films made in India.

I couldn’t watch the show live but hoping to watch the re-telecast tonight. By the way, I have got 13 out of my 21 Oscar award predictions right. 🙂

A R Rahman nominated for Oscars

It was a proud moment for the musical genuis of A R Rahman and his fans in India when he won the Golden Globe this month. Now A R Rahman has three nominations for Oscars in two categories – Best Original Score and Best Original Song. Rahman’s competitors for the Academy Awards are no less than Thomas Newman and James Newton Howard. Both of them are extremely talented musicians who have given some gem of works in the recent past. So this will be a tough competition and even though I like both Mr. Newman and Mr. Howard for the musical talent they possess, my prayers and wishes goes to our own musical genius A R Rahman and I hope he wins.

All the best Sir!

(Image courtesy: