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Shekhar Gupta’s Expose On Katrina, 10 Years Too Late, Saif Questions The Critique

 In a blog that has gone predictably viral , eminent  political  journalist and  formal  editor   of  the Indian Express Shekhar  Gupta, a highly  respected  name, has spoken about how stars and star-directors would throw tantrums when they didn’t get awards.

 His blog was  specially  harsh  on Katrina  Kaif who apparently called  him to her van  minutes from her stage  performance at  the awards  function  to  thrown a tantrum and  weep hysterically about  her exclusion  from  the  awards list .

Significantly Mr Gupta gave in.  An award  was   invented  for  Katrina on the spot. And  the problem  was solved. Katrina danced all the way to her award.

Year after year for decades now stars dictate  who gets the awards. Or else they  refuse to attend. Some years ago  one superstar  actress  was  told by  an awards committee  that she was getting the  best actress award. But when she reached the venue  she was informed another actress was being given  the award .Her car did a U turn and left from the gate .

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To the  pleading organizers she offered an ultimatum: I get  the award  or  I  don’t attend. They had to  snatch the award away from the  other actress and give  it  to the one who  bullied her way into   the award.

Even  spouses are  not spared from the greed for awards. Some  years ago a  star-couple, then unmarried , were both  nominated for National  awards for their presence in an epic historical. When  the  husband won,  and the wife didn’t, she refused  to attend  the  celebration party.

More than such tantrum-throwing  stars I  blame the  awards  committees and jury  for giving in  to the  pressure tactics.

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Saif Ali Khan who  says he doesn’t believe  in  the  credibility  of the awards reacted  to  the public humiliation of Katrina Kaif saying, “Shekhar Gupta’s  piece was illuminating to some people.To me it  was no great revelation. I feel  everyone is part  of the hypocrisy  of  film awards including Shekhar Gupta. I mean  why did he give Katrina that award if he thought  she was  undeserving?”

    Saif feels we are  not  a film fraternity that celebrates one another’s victory. “The truth is , we haven’t created  a healthy environment  for awards where  one actor out of 5 wins an award and the  other 4 actors  clap. Some years ago I was  called  for an awards  function. When I  got there someone higher up in the organization told me, ‘We wanted  to give you the Best  Actor award. But you  know how it is. We’ll give you the award  for Best Actor in a comic role.’I think he implied there’s a certain amount of politics and manipulation  in  giving  the awards.”

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Saif feels awards functions are a televised tamasha. “It’s  a  tv show.You have to go on stage and  perform. It is no longer  about going on stage , taking your award  and mumbling  your thankyou speech. Now it’s a whole  big tamasha on  stage. Initially  it was a good idea, then the commercial aspect was introduced and  that gobbled up the entire credibility of awards.”


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