Anil Thakraney: ‘Giving’ season for Bollywood & TV-land

25 Jan,2012

By Anil Thakraney


It’s that season when many organizations will gave away many awards to many Bollywoodians. And the number of award givers is increasing with time, and I hope it stops right here. It would be a joke if in the year 2020 we have stars lining up for 30 events. Rather, I wish there were, at the most, two ceremonies, so that the awards are truly coveted and valued.


Aside from numbers, there are many problems with these awards shows in the Indian context, and for their own credibility, the organizers must do their damndest to sort them out.


For one, there must be absolute integrity in the judging process. Everyone and his father knows some winners get picked by non-jurists. Often either by the organizers themselves or by their sponsors or associates. And this gets amply proved when everyone who attends the show gets an award, and only the winners land up for the events. This is not the way it pans out either at the Oscars or the Golden Globes. And that’s the reason why Aamir Khan shuns these tamashas. Surely there is a way to deal with this continuing malaise. Maybe the will is lacking.


Two, since all the moolah comes from television rights, these shows are tailor-made for the tube. Quite a few acts don’t happen on stage, they get inserted in later. This makes no sense. If the stars are going to perform on stage, then they must do so in real time, in front of the hundreds of people in the audience. Because capsules get inserted in later, the show looks pretty artificial and scripted. Again, nowhere does this happen in the world. Organizers must make it mandatory for performers to perform live. That’s the beauty of an event. If we wanted to watch recorded stuff, we’d watch the regular TV shows.


And third, because these events get packaged as TV dramas, awards become the side show. ‘Extras’, in filmi lingo. In fact, awards for vernacular films and for the technical crew get done in a big rush, so that the entire time and energy goes into entertainment. Which is dance and thakela banter. Awards should be the big act, the rest of the stuff woven around them.


Lots of issues to be dealt with, and I am not even talking of the shoddy camera work. Hope one day we can put out an awards show that the West will envy and emulate.


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PS: If you haven’t watched ‘Shattered Glass’ already, you should quickly grab the DVD. Especially if you work in the media. It’s the story of a young reporter who cooks stories and quotes to quickly rise up the hierarchy. And also to deal with the intense pressure in the newsroom. This can so easily happen to any young journo. A warning for everyone.


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