Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Oscar India...Oscar

On the day of the Oscar awards, India died of happiness but rose in the realization of what otherness it has been bestowed with and by what curious eyes, it has been viewed by the west. The three unparalleled individual talents kissed the Oscar statue. India dampened its eyes. The happiness was that much. It was difficult to hold the pounding heart without the chill of tears poured over it.

Slum Dog Millionaire, the film, which won the best film award and Smile Pinky, the film, which won the best short film award, both are about India. ‘About India’-that phrase is to be underlined. There are question marks on whether they have portrayed India in the way as it really is.

There is a western archetypal curiosity about India and its life, from the European renaissance or even before it. Columbus’s landing on America and many other geographical discoveries also are the after effects of that curiosity. It is that curiosity that we can identify in the Oscar achievements of these Indian films, about Indian life.

This western curiosity as it is evident from the two films, is not rose from the fancy to see the extreme prosperity, but the reversal. It is there, that we still feel of ourselves post-colonial. We are being viewed with that inferior sense, with sympathy. But is the west blamable for their attitude? Is our situation better than what is shown in such films or in novels like “The White Tiger”?

Here, the answers are not necessary, because the concept of ‘answering’ is a pacifying one. Answers are provided to pacify the question maker. They are questions that can evoke the human consciousness and keep it burning. And I don’t want my fellow beings to be passive.

The Hollywood filmmakers will start to choose India as a dream destination for their films. This would become a trend, or have it already? Whether it would be sympathy or curiosity, they would definitely get the necessary things, and along with that, India will rise to a world class ‘show piece’. But if such sympathetic is our real situation, how can we stop them from peeping into our ‘realities’! It is the time for introspection to be self-aware.

Let them make what ever the west want. If the world wants to see us wearing the hyphenated identity, let us be called the post-colonials. As A.R. Rahman said a few days back, we have a lot to give to the world. If the west wants us to play the role of the post-colonials, let us play it and play it in a way that we can grab all their attention, prizes and the precious. This is the way to conquer the world. It is in this place that Rahman and Rasool Pookutty becomes the real heroes of modern India. Also, Danny Boyle and his crew deserved the very best of the results. Their individual talents cannot be undermined at any context. And the Oscar goes for that.

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