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The IIFA Awards Lost Their  Relevance 20 Years Ago



IIFA Awards

The  International  Indian Film  Academy(IIFA)  awards were  instituted with the  lofty  and express purpose  of  projecting and  promoting Indian cinema  across the world.

Not Bollywood, mind it!  It was  meant to be  a global platform for Indian cinema. Farcically, the  IIFA awards have over the years, become  a platform solely for  Hindi cinema, and not even that. Just  Bollywood, thank  you.

Each  year, barring the last two when the pandemic  did us  a  service  by  sparing us  all the humbug and  squandering  of resources  the worldover, IIFA  does an eeny-meeny-minimoh on  the  globe,  picks an untried spot of the world—quite like  foodies who try new dishes at a fancy  restaurant—and  then invite  ‘Bollywood’ to come and celebrate.

No  Malayalam cinema, no  Bengali, Tamil, Telugu  Assamese…just Bollywood descends on the  Chosen Land for a weekend of vacationing, shopping  and partying. Nobody who goes for the annual jamboree gives  a flying duck  for  Hindi cinema(let alone Indian cinema). They are all there to  party and let their hair down, whatever  little of  it still remains on their heads.

I remember a completely inebriated  actor calling me  from some part  of  the  world where the IIFA was held that year. He had not attended even one of  the functions or events hosted  by the  organizers, and  most incredibly, he had even skipped the function where he  was supposed to get an award.

That brings  me to why  stars  agree to  go to IIFA year after year even when  it  has zero relevance to their career:  they go because they want to  enjoy an all-expenses paid holiday with their  family, and that includes nannys and  Man-Fridays. I remember a well-known actress who refused to board the flight to  Tahiti/Timbuctoo/Bosnia or wherever the  “global” awards  were  held that year because  the ticket for one  of her children’s two nannys had not arrived.

While we laugh over the sheer pettiness of these joyless  celluloid travelers, think of all the  millions that have been wasted over this annual jamboree. Who pays for  the nanny’s ticket?

More importantly why do we give any importance to  an awards function that purports to  represent India globally and then  represents a fraction of  Indian cinema  , and that too the most irrelevant part  of it?

Think of this. The  nominees want to know  in advance if they are getting the award. Or else  they  won’t attend the function.More fun to go shopping especially  when it is on the house.

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