Jai Ho! We cannot stop singing these words ever since music maestro AR Rahman and sound magician Resul Pookutty created history at the Oscars. A historic and proud moment for us in India. A proud moment for the film industry that nurtured these talents all these years.
Amidst all the celebration, criticism of the film can be heard from many nooks and corners. Slumdog Millionaire sells India as India sells best, they say. The poverty stricken, filth ridden country that is miraculously bewitching with its slums and smells. Previous ‘sellers’ of this form of India - The God of Small Things, Shantaram, The White Tiger - all attracted the foreign audience and achieved heights of success with India packaged in the form it sells best. However I strongly believe that Slumdog is different. Despite brand India in its very saleable package, it depicts realities thriving in Bombay and the rest of India.
I found detailed research in the movie with great insights into the begging and prostitution racket prevalent in our country, the conditions in slums of Bombay and the plight of people struggling for survival in the city. The film depicts equally well the fighting resilience of the people of Bombay and the incredible heart of the city. Slumdog for me is a great story, well told through cinema and one that happens to showcase India as it sells best. Slumdog is the rightful recipient of the accolades and plaudits it has received at the Oscars and from across the world.
As I stated, I find more reason for celebration in the win of Rahman and Pookutty who scripted history with the Oscar trophies shining in their hands at the Oscar ceremony in Los Angeles. I have no doubt that this triumph will help get our film industry due recognition and collaboration from film makers from the west. The victory will lead to another avenue opening to talent from our country. A welcome development for the latent talent of the Indian film industry. A welcome development to a country that can look forward to many more international recognitions and celebrations therafter. To the heroes of this hour - Jai Ho!