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February 25th, 2009

In the days to come, there will be widespread discussion on Slumdog Millionaire and whether it reflects the true worth of India and is indeed a representation of life in India. There will be many who will suddenly change their stance now that the film has won eight Oscars. While there will be silly marketing managers and their ilk who will try and devise strategies as to how Jamal Malik can now be the brand-endorser for all things which are basic and Indian.

For me personally, the Oscar ceremony on February 22 at the Kodak Theatre was more than just about a film set in Bombay. It was about recognising the true worth of soft power and its role in building a brand: in this case, Brand India and I believe for that and that alone, we need to be grateful to Danny Boyle. The film could easily have been set in Africa. We may have missed A R Rahman’s music in that case but am sure the treatment would have not been so dramatically different.

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