The Golden Globe, The Baftas, and now the Oscars – Slumdog Millionaire completes its award winning streak in the International Film Awards scenario. Congratulations to the entire cast and crew of Slumdog and especially the maestro A.R.Rahman, and our own Gulzaar Saab and Resul Pookutty for their wins. The year’s biggest movie event almost turned to be a largely Indian affair, with A.R.Rahman performing on stage and “Slumdog Millionaire” bagging 8 Oscars.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awarded Satyajit Ray an honorary Oscar in 1992 for Lifetime Achievement, and 17 years after that three Indians have managed to win over the Academy Awards in the same year, for the same film- Astounding indeed – A Time For Real Rejoice – but somehow the buzz that Slumdog has created has largely been in the International fraternity. Though our Indian Media is doing their job and trying to grab maximum Indian eyeballs, strangely enough the Hysteria amongst Indians regarding the film is absolutely missing.
On this occasion, i vaguely remember the day when in 1994, at the age of eighteen, Sushmita Sen won the title of Miss Universe in Manila, Philippines. The euphoria was truly amazing, which was sustained even when Aishwarya Rai won the Miss World title in the same year. As a kid who was overwhelmed by the occasion, I remember people congratulating each other, as if they themselves have won the titles, but this time, with Slumdog Millionaire the case is entirely different. Everyone in India knows that Slumdog is doing wonders at all the International Movie Awards, everyone is talking about it and giving their opinions about the film and its flaws, or its positives, but no one seems to be rejoicing…thus questions arise in my mind…have we Indians stopped celebrating our wins?… or as Indians we have woken up to the fact that the world needs more of us…and that India’s Glory Days are just as natural as Terror Attacks on Indian soil?
Already one fifth of the global population is Indian, India came into the global limelight at first through its Mindpower in the IT – Software Industry, then in the Internet- Dot Com Industry, then in the ITES- BPO Industry, and now is it the time when India will slowly and gradually become a major player in the global Film industry too…can Slumdog Millionaire usher in that era when Manpower from India will play a major role in International Films? I think that day is very near…but as Indians shall we reserve our celebrations only for Cricket Tournament triumphs or can we wake up and Congratulate Indian talent in other fields also?…For long India was famous to the West as the country of One Gandhi, of One Rabindranath Tagore, of One Ravi Shankar, of One Satyajit Ray, of One Zakir Hussain, of One Amartya Sen – but this time around lets not allow it to remain as the country of One A.R.Rahman..let us grab this opportunity and give the right avenues to the innumerable deserving talent in the Indian Film Industry..and make Original Masterpieces, Cinema of the highest standards which will win accolades all over the Globe…and not indulge in petty remakes or lifts of films which have done good business in other countries and other languages…but will the people who matter understand this global phenomenon and rise to the task?…Questions…Damn Questions…..