Tuesday, July 27, 2004

cultural colonialism?

Om Puri, one of India's great actors, has just been awarded the Order of the British Empire for his contribution to British film. This seems a little odd to me. Yes, Om is a great actor, but to knight him? And i guess my problem is not so much with Om but with knighting actors, singers, etc in general. It makes me wonder what the criteria is. At one time i imagine it was for great heroics or something. But for acting?

Maybe its because he acted in great Raj era pieces like Jewel in the Crown and Gandhi. Is it a way to honour those colonials who played the game according to the Imperial power's rules? Why Om and not Big B? In spite of the fact that Bacchan acts almost exclusively in Bollywood production, he was still voted Britain's actor of the millennium in 1999. And for all you videsis out there, let's not forget that Om is no stranger to Bollywood either. He's more than just a parallel cinema guy - think about the likes of Dulhan Hum Le Jayenge, Maachis, Maqbool and Pukaar to name just a few. This is one busy guy.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've no idea how they decide these things. I think people can write in and nominate. Maybe next year everyone should write to Downing street and tell them about this other guy.

11:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it's great to honour actors, singers, writers, artists. What's a girl to do? I'm sure the Queen wants to tap someone on the shoulder each year with that big, long sword and how many heroes are there, of the traditional heroic type? I can't think of one. And then I imagine it's restricted to Brits and colonials, now that there's no Empire. I agree with your other commenter -- let's nominate the other guy for next year!

7:45 AM  

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