No ‘Jai Ho’

Sitting in front of the TV, yesterday, I was bit by the slumdog. All the news channels were going gaga over the fact that the film was a major hit at the Golden Globe Awards, walking away with four awards. But the biggest news was that our very own AR Rahman had broken the shackles and landed a golden statuette, crediting a “billion people from India”.

Since then, every news channel makes me want to puff my chest in glory and take pride in the fact that an ‘Indian’ had won the coveted award. Every one that is anyone is talking highly either about the film or about AR Rahman; the actors in the films are traipsing from one studio to another talking animatedly about how close they are to Rahman and how wonderful Slumdog Millionaire is. But that isn’t all, Karan Johar has penned an article about his experience at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California in BT. Then let Shahrukh Khan land in India, there will be a whole lot more stories of how Bollywood is now as great as Hollywood.

Through all this brouhaha, I was just wondering, why should I be gung-ho about Rahman getting an award that is based on votes from around ninety or so international journalists living in Hollywood and affiliated with media outside of the United States. What is the real big deal about this? And why are we so obsessed about receiving medals from the phirangs? The news clips constantly showed all the Hollywood biggies clapping when Shahrukh was making some silly wisecrack or when Rahman walked to the podium. Just because Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Angelina Jolie, and the rest were sitting there, it doesn’t make a dickens of a difference.

I seriously wonder, when will we ever break away from the colonial complexes that have been ingrained in us, being gung ho on receiving some appreciation from abroad? Sadly, it was the same years ago, when our qualified brains caught the first flight off shore not only to make a better life, but also to return as vanquishers. And now our ‘Bollywood’ (a name the stinks of timidity) badshahs are running to the West. But spare us, for heaven’s sake.

So, many congrats to you Rahman, but please don’t expect me to say ‘Jai ho’ just because you won some golden globe thingie.

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