India's Oscar wins just the beginning, says elated Bollywood

By Subhash K. Jha

Mumbai, Feb 24 (IANS) Bollywood hailed Oscar winners A.R. Rahman, Resul Pookutty and Gulzar saying they were the flagbearers of Indian cinema and that this is just the beginning of the country's march to global glory. From Amitabh Bachchan to Preity Zinta everyone was euphoric about the wins.

Amitabh Bachchan: Great moment for Indian cinema and Indian talent. And that two of our most talented film artistes have won international recognition is remarkable.

Karan Johar: It's a proud moment for our fraternity. This is just the beginning. Rahman and Resul are flagbearers for an entire movement in world cinema where India is going to play a major part. More power to them and thank you Rahman and Resul for this master-stroke of a flag-off.

Deepa Mehta: It's just fabulous. I can't think of anyone more deserving. What a great day for Rahman. What a great day for India and Indians. We always knew Rahman was talented and brilliant. And now the world knows it.

Preity Zinta: You've no idea how euphoric I'm feeling. I've been up and dancing all morning. I mean Rahman and Gulzar saab are the jewels of Indian cinema. They did my first ever song "Jiya jale" in "Dil Se". And they've been doing consistently outstanding work. What Rahman did in "Slumdog Millionaire" was to bring out a kind of clever fusion which just clicked with the world. I love him for it.

The one that I'm happiest for is Resul. To be honest I knew little about his work until "Slumdog Millionaire". "Dil Chahta Hai" was the first Hindi film with live sound. Now, of course, sound in our cinema is finally making itself heard. It's sad but true that we very often wait for the West to recognise a genius. My heart had broken when I had seen how little kids were shown to be treated in Mumbai in "Slumdog Millionaire". It was so true and so sad. Now my heart swells with pride. I'm so happy I don't know if I'm coming or going.

Shabana Azmi: Rahman is a genius like no other. His music is informed by his spirituality. His success in the international arena was written in stone. No surprises there. Resul has brought the spotlight on the skill and prowess of Indian technicians. As a fellow student of the FTII (Film and Television Institute of India) I feel doubly proud. But for me the greatest thrill is that a small independent film rather than a big budget studio film has won the best film. I'm thrilled for my friend Anil Kapoor. He has walked the path less travelled and is reaping the dividends.

Bipasha Basu: I was so sure that he would get it. Long before he had won, I had typed a text message saying A.R. Rahman has done it. I think Resul and Rahman have made all us Indians proud. What an amazing performance by Rahman. And his acceptance speeches were so real confident and dignified. I'm so happy. For the first time in my life I was late for work because I was watching the Oscars.

Shilpa Shetty: I cried when I heard Resul's name being announced. Those tears of joy were for all of us. I felt I had won the Oscar. Resul and Rahman both deserved it. We waited long. But the wait has been worth it.

Alka Yagnik: Very very well-deserved. Rahman and Resul have done us all very proud. They're our real heroes, the jewels in India's crown. I'm so fortunate to have been a part of the "Slumdog Millionaire" soundtrack. God bless both Rahman and Resul. Jai ho!

Vishal Bhardwaj: We have done it! Gulzar saab should have gone for it. If not for himself than for me and for his daughter Meghna.

Sharmila Tagore: I'm very, very happy for both of them.

Subhash Ghai: "Slumdog Millionaire" becoming a global success confirms the talent and potential of Indian artistes and technicians abroad. It's a new perspective thrown open for Indian filmmakers where we no longer need to ape the West, but think of Indian themes and not just star-studded projects. Next time I want to see an Indian director winning an Oscar for a film on India. Jai ho!

Vidya Balan: God, I'm overjoyed, overwhelmed, proud and humbled. I couldn't stop my tears when I saw little Freida Pinto, Anil, Resul and the team on stage. To me, going from Obama's victory to the "Slumdog" Oscar victory suggests there're better times ahead for all of us. It's no longer about where you belong or who you may be. It's about one people one nation and one world. Now the binding force is merit.

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