Oct 7, 2012

Barfi! in the Oscars, but does Oscars deserve that?

Ever since India has announced that its official Oscars nomination for this year would be Barfi!, controversies have began and people are questioning the Oscar worthiness of this movie since some of the scenes of the movie appear to have been copied from hollywood movies like The Notebook, City Lights, The Rain, The Adventurer etc. Some people are even feeling ashamed to know that we have nominated Barfi! into the Oscars. 

Is it the case that Indians are the only ones who copy from others? Now, there are some people living in India or born in India who feel that they are so unfortunate having born in India. They feel that whatever India does, it can't be good. If it is good, then it is always copied from the western world. They easily forget that India has a history of thousands of years and we were more civilised and knowledgeable as compared to rest of the world. That is the reason why the people from other parts of the world came to India. What did the western world had before the industrial revolution began some 200-300 years ago? We were the ones who provided the basic knowledge of all the advanced sciences to the world, Astronomy, Mathematics, Physics, Medical Sciences like Ayurved, Yog (Yoga as proudly called now due to westernisation), to name a few. Didn't others copied from India? Why the western world is now moving towards herbal products and why to they need to file patents for turmeric? Why do they need non genetically modified food to be imported from India?

Just look at what Samartha Ramdas Swami has written in Dasbodh, somewhere in 17th Century in Marathi:

रेणूहून सूक्ष्म किडे । त्यांचें आयुष्य निपटचि थोडें । युक्ति बुद्धि तेणेंचि पाडें । तयामधें ॥ १ ॥ ऐसे नाना जीव असती । पाहों जातां न दिसती । अंतःकर्णपंचकाची स्थिती । तेथेंचि आहे ॥ २ ॥ त्यांपुरतें त्यांचें ज्ञान । विषये इंद्रियें समान । सूक्ष्म शरीरें विवरोन । पाहातो कोण ॥

Isn't this what we nowadays call "Microbiology"? Where did this knowledge came from?

Anyways, coming back to Barfi!, I found the movie truly refreshing and it has done what the primary job of any movie is, i.e. to entertain the audience. Ranbir and Priyanka have acted beautifully and they have truly lived their rolls. Even though, both the main characters are differently abled, the movie isn't completely sad or emotional. 

As far as the question of Oscars nomination is concerned, I am of the opinion that India should boycott the Oscars for ever. This is because I feel that the Academy Awards appear to be biased and anti-indian if we compare the films like Slumdog Millionaire and Lagaan. 

Indians had celebrated when "Slumdog Millionaire" got eight out of ten academy award categories in which the film was nominated. Was it the Indian film? It was directed by Danny Boyle and produced by Christian Colson, who were not Indians. The movie had depicted only the ugly side of India. It was projected as if India is a country full of slums and poverty and people take a dip in the shit. Was the movie technically sound and oscar worthy. Well, it was not! If we compare it with the movie "Lagaan" which was nominated in Best Foreign Film category some years ago, I think Lagaan was far better on all fronts than Slumdog Millionaire. A.R.Rahman's music in Lagaan was far far better than his music in Slumdog Millionaire.  I am sure that if somebody asks this to the musical maestro himself, he would also agree privately. Lagaan was a period film and if you read the book The Spirit of Lagaan, you would come of know how difficult it was to make this movie. This movie was shot without a day break in schedule, sync sound technique was used for the first time in this movie, so many foreign actors were involved to manage their dates and it was technically better than Slumdog. Then why it was not awarded with the Academy Awards? Just because it was an Indian film. Apart from Slumdog, the other so called Indian film to have won the oscars is "Gandhi" which was also not an Indian film, since it was directed by Sir Richard Attenborough.  

This is the reason why I feel that India should boycott the Oscars for ever. We do not need Oscars and at the same time, Oscars also doesn't deserve that. Amitabh Bachchan had publicly said that "They are great in their place and we are so in our place. It is not that Oscar awards are the ultimate recognition" 

What do we get if our films win the Oscars? Nowadays, with Indians spread all over the world, our good movies are already doing excellent business abroad. My friends who are abroad are watching Indian movies on the same day when they are released in India. The market in India is such a big market that we do not need to go outside for business. In fact, rest of the world is now eyeing on this 1.2 billion plus market and it is the time for India to capitalise on this.
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