Bollywood Award Shows – A Complete Sham of Epic Proportions

    If you would have followed the Oscars this year, you would have surely been blown away; not by its resplendence but by the sheer quality it exuded. Leonardo Di Caprio’s speech on winning the well deserved Best Actor trophy was something that made us think and will stay with us for a long time. Contrast this with our plethora of award shows and all you get is glitz, glamour, dance, cheap acts and a desperate attempt by the organizers to mollify the A-listers from our industry. Even the anchoring that is done is completely scripted, done by the same old faces and borders on the cheesy and tacky.

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    Talent takes a backseat

    There was a time, about 15 years back, when Bollywood award shows were keenly awaited. Back then, there were just a few ones to speak of and they had, somewhat maintained their quality. Things, though, began changing soon. Year after year, these Bollywood award shows have been blatantly focusing on pandering to the biggies in the business and completely ignoring real and deserving talent.

    When the nominations for this year’s awards were announced, one became certain that this year too would be no different. In fact, even the supposed best award show in the country, the apparent ‘Indian Oscars’, is also following on the same lines. Sample this: Akshay Kumar, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Ajay Devgan did not get nominations in the ‘Best Actor’ category for ‘Baby’, ‘Manjhi’ and ‘Drishyam’ respectively, and SRK did, for Dilwale! They mean to tell us that Akshay, Ajay and Nawaz’s brilliant performances do not even deserve a nomination and SRK’s mundane act in that horrible film does? In fact, Nawaz had also given another superb act in the film ‘Badlapur’ last year and had won accolades for it from everywhere. However, it is Varun Dhawan – the film’s main lead – who got nominated in the ‘Best Supporting Actor’ category! The same is the story with Irrfan Khan whose riveting act in ‘Talvar’ went almost unnoticed in almost all these shows.

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    And there is more. ‘Baby’ – that superb action thriller that wowed all of us last year – did not get a single nomination in this famed film award show’s entire list! Then, some of the other award ceremonies this year decided to award Sonam Kapoor for her ‘royal’ performance in ‘Prem Ratan Dhan Paayo’, while the likes of Richa Chadda for ‘Masaan’ or Kalki Koechlin for ‘Margarita with a Straw’ were conveniently ignored.

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    Now one knows that Indian film awards have long lost all credibility, but this is simply outrageous and reeks of blatant double standards. Akshay Kumar, one should know, has mentioned many a time that he has been called on several award shows and told that he would get an award if he performs a dance number for them. Perhaps, he, and several other talented actors like him, are refusing to do so now, and are hence being snubbed by these award shows.

    It’s the coterie that rules the roost

    There is one important point to understand here. There is undeniably a Bollywood coterie – a group of stars; actors, directors, et al – which is having a stronghold over these award ceremonies. If one has followed the countless Bollywood award shows closely over the past decade, they would know well enough which group is being talked about here. The sad thing is, the situation is unlikely to change anytime soon in the future.

    And this is precisely the reason that many renowned actors are now shunning these shows. First Amir Khan and Sunny Deol did it and now Kangana Ranaut too has followed suit and joined them by steering clear of these sham of a Bollywood award shows. They have clearly stated that they feel these shows are ridiculously biased.

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    If Bollywood wishes to promote good content and take its name across the globe, then how can it ever to do so if it regularly disregards niche and content driven films like ‘Titli, Drishyam’, ‘Talvar’, ‘Angry Indian Goddesses’ and ‘Masaan? Why, oh why, is it absolutely necessary to nominate Amitabh Bachchan , SRK, Sakman Khan, Hrithik Roshan, and the likes, for every single film they do? Why can’t other, lesser known actors, get some credit too when they deserve it? Why is it so necessary to be delirious about SRK and Kajol as a ‘Lifetime Power Couple’ and not, instead, be more focused on a cameraman or an editor who has been doing impressive work over a period of time?

    In fact, this is another vital point: that the real crux of people who complete a film – the story and screenplay writers, script writers, editors, sound mixers, cinematographers – are never properly and respectfully recognized for their fine work by our Bollywood award shows. The case is completely the opposite in Western countries and that is why you can see the vast difference in their quality and ours.

    A reputed Bollywood journalist had recently written that how some A-listed actors call the award shows beforehand to confirm if they are getting an award on the night of the event. These stars stress that they would only attend the ceremony if they are to be given an award. So then, one cannot blame these show organizers completely as well. They need the biggies to attend their event and if for that they are being forced to hand out awards to them, then there is not much they can do is there? These are very sad state of affairs indeed.

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    The unfortunate fact is that our award shows today have been relegated to be over glamorized platforms for a certain select group of Bollywood heavyweights to showcase their dancing skills and massage their bloated egos; they are now nothing more than a complete sham of epic proportions. Here, you get nominations such as ‘Power Jodi of the year’ and ‘Fresh Face’ of the year just so that the big stars and their sons and daughters are properly acknowledged.

    Watch the brilliant video below, which, through a spoof, demonstrates the way Bollywood awards are handed out these days.

    Talent, hence, has take a backseat and the star power of a selected few is reigning supreme in these Bollywood award ceremonies. The day is not far when, apart from these selected individuals, no one will take these shows seriously.

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    A hardcore cricket fanatic, I am a journalism graduate and work as the Editor at a book packaging house in Kolkata. I write for a national sports magazine, Cricket Today, and a couple of other websites along with regular blogs on varied issues.