Tuesday, March 3, 2009

recognition for Rahman; not for India

Last week I was watching A R Rahman on Tv giving statement about his experience of getting the most prestigious Oscar Awards. He said that what pleased him more was to see the child-actors of the film SlumDog Millionaire (who were actually from Slums)walking on the Red Carpet. The words he used were "Art does not discriminate".

I think thats a wonderful thing he has said. If we associate the word "indiscrimination" with art, we will see its actual beauty. Admirers of art should not discriminate talented people on any basis. It is the power of the expression that these young talented kids deliever with their talent that led them to the Red Carpet.

However this should not suggest that the Oscar, in anyway, was an admiration of the portrayal of the conditions of slums in India. Most of us are associating the victory of SlumDog with the victory of India.
However this is NOT true. We should always bear following things in mind:

1. SlumDog Millionaire was NOT an Indian movie. All the actors were Indians but the movie was not. The crew was completely foreign. Director, producer, and technicians were all hollywood. Most importantly, the language was English, and there were subtitles in english when the dialogues were in Hindi.
A film to represent India or Bollywood has to be atleast in Hindi or in any other Indian language.

2. SlumDog Millionaire never portrays and never claims to portray the conditions of slums in India. The movie was based on a novel and the story was of a guy who belonged to the slums. Not every slum guy (the use of word "Dog" is highly offensive if you try to associate the movie with conditions of India)goes through what the leading character of this film went through. It was an unusual story of a slum guy. The tagline itself says that the guy was "born to loose but was destined to win". Now to show this 'born to loose' part, the author of the novel has chosen the backdrop of Indian slums and the director of movie has taken out the title "SlumDog". Thats it. No other association with India and poverty of India.

3. SlumDog Millionaire was a not a nominee for Best Foreign film, while Lagaan was a nominee in that category. Nominations from our country would always fall under this category. This time "Taare Zameen Par" was sent for the nomination but unfortunately that film, which I like more than SlumDog, could not make it.

However, the victory of A R Rahman and Gulzar is definitely a victory of Indian talent. Though people like Gulzar does not need a recognition of Oscar to prove their charisma. Rahman has definitely made us proud.
But we sould make this thing very clear that victory of this movie at the oscars does not mean that portrayal of poverty of India is a sure shot way to get International recognition. Fie on any such recognition which you get by mocking at misery of others.

The very next week Rahman also got Filmfare award for his musical score in the movie Jodha akbar, He siad that this makes him look more familiar :). Thats the best part of an artist. No matter how high you fly you should always keep your feet on ground. That is actually called HEIGHT!!

The lust for foriegn recognition can make us alien to our own country. This reminds me the lyrics of a television serial:

"बादल को छूने की चाहत तो थी

उड़ने का सपना नही था मगर

दे दिया मुझको एक अजनबी आसमान

मेरे पैरो से मेरी ज़मीन छीन कर

हम परदेसी हो गए"

1 comment:

sruthi said...

agree with what u say bout the movie n bout being humble even when the world has put u on the top...

n i like the lyrics of that song u have written....one of my favs... :-)