ArpitGarg's Weblog

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Posts Tagged ‘awards

Sahitya Akademi: Political slavery of the worst kind

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sahityaAn interesting drama has been unfolding at Sahitya Akademi, a Govt. organization founded in 1954. More than dozen writers have returned Sahitya Akademi awards to protest against the intolerance engulfing the society. Most of these writers accuse the central Govt. of vitiating the atmosphere and fanning communal fires.

From the media reports I gather Kalburgi and Dadri cited as two primary reasons for this sudden move by the awardees. I find it amusing and sad at the same time to see a literary organization going political. But then when was it otherwise?

It’s their right to protest and no one can argue with that. But what I argue with is the hypocrisy.

Not much people would have heard the name of this organization. It’s due to the fact that it has done nothing worthwhile all these years. Their awards always have been under the scanner to be politically backed. Current episode seals that argument.

No one returned awards when there were allegations of corruption and wrongdoings against Akademi. No one returned awards after Sikh riots, Muzaffarpur riots. No one returned the awards when India witnessed most shameful corruption all around. No, they were fine with that. I am not here defending the current Govt. Maybe they are vitiating the atmosphere for all we know.

But to cite this as a reason for such cheap stunts, sounds fishy. My take is most of the awardees have been political. Akademi was criticized by none other than Khushwant Singh for awarding below-par and sub-standard writers. So for people who got awards due to their political alignment to previous Govt’s, it’s time to return the favors. Their action does nothing but malign the current Govt and in my opinion it is politically motivated.

It’s high time these people are not given any audience. If we look back last 60 years, India has achieved nothing much in literary space anyways. All thanks to such people who rose up the ranks and got awarded owing to their political alignments.

What we need is a new breed of writers who can take India to literary heights which we lost out on all these years.

Written by arpitgarg

October 13, 2015 at 4:06 pm

Akshay, Aamir, Awards: A Dilemma

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Last night a breaking news simultaneously bombarded across all the News Channels. “Akshay refused to accept the Star Screen award for the best actor in popular category”. It was said that he was miffed at it not being given to Aamir. Here’s the catch. Aamir don’t attend such award ceremonies as a policy. Would announcing Aamir the winner take the sheen away from the ceremony, given his absence? To some extend, yes. Now what can Star Screen do? I recollect similar dilemma during the time of Gadar and Lagaan. Their resounding success was of so sheer velocity that no award ceremony dare give it to some other movie or some other star. Since Sunny and Aamir both boycott these populist awards, what happened? The award functions looked pale and just a formality. This brings us to the current discussion, Was Star Screen right in not giving award to the deserving, Aamir? Well, answer might not be as simple.

One solution might be to stop nominating them. Make it a policy statement. In the past a lot many award functions have done so, including Oscars. This might in turn end up lending them, a much needed credibility.

So why haven’t they done it already? Most of the award functions are organized by private media houses who need the stars for promotional purposes. Consider a scenario, “Aamir Khan not been considered for Star Screen awards”. Given the size of egos in Bollywood, Aamir (or his well wishers), might take it as an insult. This would open the floodgates, open war b/w camps (already there are no less). No media house wants to end up at the point of no return. So they try and maintain cordial relations. Not attending the award lends the star, a high moral ground. Not being openly considered might be taken as an outright insult. The truth today is that stars such as Aamir are more powerful than any particular media house. Hence they are nominated year after year, should they ever change their mind.

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