Eklavya for the Oscars
Vidhu Vinod Chopra production, Eklavya – The Royal Guard, has been chosen as India’s official entry to the Oscars this year.
The selection came as a surprise for people in the Indian film industry as most of them (ordinary people included) had expected ‘Chak De! India’ to be nominated for the Oscars. Bhavna Talwar, director and co-producer of the critically acclaimed Dharm, challenged the selection.
Her main contention is that jury that selected Eklavya had some members allegedly close to Chopra, so the selection could not have been fair. Bombay High Court on Saturday issued notices to Film Federation of India and others. Division bench of Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice Dhananjay Chandrachud noted that prima facie the selection looked biased.
I wonder what has the judiciary to do with deciding a film for Oscars.There are other pressing issues that are of more importance and if the courts have to decide everything, then after every decision let the papers be sent to the court. Why wait for somebody to challenge? I wonder how can the court decide on this matter. Artistic expressions are a matter of opinion. What may seem to be bad movie, may actually be liked by people. Box office can definitely not measure the artistic value of a movie.
This is not the first time that oscar selection is mired in controvercy-
In 1999 filmmaker Shankar’s Jeans starring Aishwarya Rai and Prashant was chosen for the Academy Awards in place of Ram Gopal Varma’s critically and commercially acclaimed masterpiece Satya.
In 2003 Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Devdas was prefered over Mani Ratnam’s soulful Kannathil Muthammitaal.
Last years selection’Paheli’ was a controversial decision too. Either we are getting used to challenging every decision made, or we are incapable of making fair decisions
In a country with lakhs of cases are pending in all courts, a local court in Indore issued bailable warrant against Aamir Khan for disrespecting the national flag. In a function organised by a showroom of a leading car maker Aamir Khan was the chief guest and 11 national flags were hoisted on top of the showroom. The flags remained hoisted even after the sunset(How many patriotic Indians know that this should not be done)?The attention of the showroom owners was drawn towards the issue. Now comes the twist in the tale- the flags were allegedly pulled down in a “derogatory manner” and remained on the floor. This is the violation of the national flag code. A complaint in this regard was filed by an advocate under Prevention of Insult to the National Honour Act. I am not mentioning the name of the advocate so that I don’t give him publicity.
It is an attempt to gain publicity by harassing a celebrity. Such people should be punished by the court. Holding the owners of the showroom is fine but Amir Khan? He was the chief guest. Was Aamir Khan the one who pulled the flag down and let it lay on the floor. During the Independence day celebrations, so many people carry small paper flags and the next day we find them find them on the roads or in the garbage bins. On the traffic lights in Delhi there are so many people selling plastic Tricolours. What happens to them? Doesn’t matter because ordinary Indian on the road is not capable of giving anybody publicity. Richard Gere is issued a warrant for kissing Shilpa Shetty- the judge and the concerned advocate is a celebrity. You can watch them on national TV. The advocate should be punished for wasting precious time of the honourable court and the judge should be punished for giving importance to such frivolous issues. They don’t waste any time in giving judgements in such cases where as important issues just linger on.
Vasundhara raje Scindia
All of us who had Hindi as a subject in school have read the poem-
‘Khoob ladi mardani wo to Jhansi wali rani thi’
It is authored by Subhadra kumari Chauhan and is a very popular poem. Can you believe it? There is a controversy because of this poem. You can trust these politicians to do anything.
In the BJP’s magazine published in Rajasthan the poem has omitted references describing the Scindia’s as friends of the British. It is a historical fact that when Laxmi Bai reached Gwalior Jivaji Rao Scindia ran away to Agra, and the Gwalior forces joined her. The Chief Minister of Rajasthan is from the Scindhia clan and that explains why the poem about the bravery of heroine of the first war of Independence had to be edited. RSS has demanded that the entire poem, including the references to the Scindia’s, should be taught in full form. It’s the RSS taking on Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje Scindia. We can appreciate the RSS for that.
Isn’t there enough of tampering with our Literature and History. Sometimes I really wonder whom to trust? All that we have read in our History books, how much of that is true? Certain portions are edited because the minority community will be hurt, others are edited during the Saffron regime. The British Historians have their own views!!
All our lives we believed that Babar demolished temples and other religious structures of Hindus. This is the other side of Babar.
I read it in an old magazine and it interested me-
According to a document available in the State Library of Bhopal, Mughal Emperor Babur left the following will to his son Humayun: ”My son, take note of the following: do not harbour religious prejudice in your heart. You should dispense justice while taking note of the people’s religious sensitivities, and rites. Avoid slaughtering cows in order that you could gain a place in the heart of natives. This will take you nearer to the people.
”Do not demolish or damage places of worship of any faith and dispense full justice to all to ensure peace in the country. Islam can better be preached by the sword of love and affection, rather than the sword of tyranny and persecution. Avoid the differences between the Shias and Sunnis. Look at the various characteristics of your people just as characteristics of various seasons.”
I have never been to Bhopal or seen the document but may be in his later years Babar was a transformed man!!!