Shocking as it may sound,2017’s most popular film Dangal missed out on the popular awards because of its powerful influential and autocratic leading man.
Aamir Khan is one helluva stubborn man. His resolve to not participate in any of the multitudinous awards remains unchanged over the years. No matter how high the chances of his film winning awards,Aamir won’t attend.
But here’s the downside of Aamir’s idealism.
And when Aamir is also the producer he won’t let the rest of the team attend either.Which is why Raj KumarHirani’s PK (which was produced by Vidhu Vinod Chopra) won awards without Aamir’s participation or presence whereas the Dangal team had to grind its teeth in frustration watching less successful and less critically acclaimed films like Udta Punjab and Ae Dil Hai Mushkil walk away with the awards.
A source from the Dangal team says it was not something unexpected. “We all knew it would be eligible for tons of awards. And we were all prepared not to participate. Aamir doesn’t attend or accept popular awards.We know that.And Dangal is his baby. Why should any of us feel bad about it? ”
However an actor whi has worked with Aamir feels it is unfair to keep the whole team out. “It’s like the patriarch who won’t attend a party and won’t let his children attend either. Why should the Dangal team which slogged over the film miss out on the moment of glory?Dangal may be Aamir’s umpteenth triumph. But it is director Nitesh Tiwary’s first big break. It’s a little unfair. Woody Allen never attends awards. But that doesn’t stop his actors and technicians from enjoying the attention and recognition.”
Interestingly Aamir calls the shots regarding the eligibility of the awards for his participation. He won’t attend awards per se,but doesn’t mind making an exception for the Oscars, the National awards , or an award that he got in the US in 2013 or the award that Lata Mangeshkar recently gave him.
Says writer-lyricist Prasoon Joshi, a close associate of Aamir, “To accept or not is a personal decision .I have always known Aamir to have extreme clarity of thought and intent and I’ll always respect his decisions.”
Subhash Ghai also defends Aamir’s decision to boycott awards, “Aamir looks for credibility in the awards. That quality is lacking in the Indian popular awards.”
Adds Ananth Mahadevan, “Didn’t Aamir go for the Oscars when he was nominated? He has made his no-show policy applicable only to rigged Indian awards. And he is at liberty to break that policy when he wishes. We can’t hold it against him.”
A close friend of Aamir Filmmaker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra is disgusted by the culture of our iconic actors and actresses dancing at awards functions. “One is embarrassed and ashamed to see the film fraternity propagating and celebrating gender bias in a big way.We have awards functions where this bias is turned into television entertainment.Tragically our own iconic actresses choose to act out the bias. It’s girl power working against girl power.Why do they do it? Is it desperation for food? Are they abla naaris desperate for do waqt kiroti dancing to make ends meet? No! It’s not poverty! It’s just lust for instant fame and money. It’s all about easy bucks, easy fame. This is not art. It’s commerce at its most immoral.Every business has its ethics .The practice of dancing for big bucks is unethical.”
Prasoon Joshi feels popular awards have been reduced to spectacles. “They are a kind of reality television. They’re designed to entertain viewers. Awards functions are like consumer products. If we come to terms with this it is easy to comprehend the presence of so many awards brands functioning within the awards space.As long as we recognize today’s average awards function as a consumer item we are fine. India to that extend is unique. However I feel National awards are a little different as they are not marketing tools.”
But parliamentarian Paresh Rawal who was very upset when one of his finest performances in Oh My God went unawarded had the last word on the subject .
At that time he had said to me, “The popular awards are worthless and useless.They are big marketing events with no substance.A glaring omission was my film Oh My God which didn’t get any nominations in the popular awards. And there’re innumerable such sins of omission. Awards are as useless as a tail on a teddybear.”