Much has been made about the fact that Katrina Kaif will be honoured by the Smita Patil Memorial Award. People have been lamenting the fact that why actresses like Swara Bhaskar, Divya Dutta, Richa Chaddha etc were overlooked for an award that has the name of one of the most celebrated Indian actresses of all time on it.
Now, Ms. Bhaskar has voiced her opinion on the matter and she makes every bit of sense.
Writing for Huffington Post, Bhaskar first takes us through the genesis of the award and the organization that presents the same. She writes:
“The award is conferred by Priyadarshini Academy that is a random organization using Smita Patil's name and memory to add credibility to their private award ceremony. It is as legitimate as you believe it to be. If you are a Priyadarshini Academy patron, this award may mean the world to you, if you are like me and hadn't heard of them before, you may not care so much.”
She adds by clarifying the purpose of the award:
“Apart from the Smita Patil award, the Global Awards also have other categories like sports and literature and so on. The Priyadarshini Academy also dabbles in laughter therapy and Vedic philosophy, have some publications and claim to give educational scholarships though details of everything on their website are rather sketchy.”
The Priyadarshini Academy is a voluntary organization that bi-annually presents awards to people across categories. But why? Bhaskar explains.
“I would like to draw your attention to the fact that the award gives the Priyadarshini academy an opportunity..... Yes! Gives them—the Priyadarshini Academy—the opportunity to fundraise by inviting glamorous A-list Bollywood celebrities upon the promise of an honour and have their star-struck patrons interact with these celebs and continue to keep giving donations so that the laughter club and vedic research can continue. This is my hunch.”
But what’s with the hullabaloo about Katrina Kaif, Bhaskar asks:
“Priyanka Chopra, Deepika Padukone, Preity Zinta, Aishwarya Rai, Kareena Kapoor, Karisma Kapoor, Madhuri Dixit, Meenakshi Seshadri, and Sridevi have all won the Smita Patil Memorial award and were/are all hardcore commercial film heroines, not necessarily offbeat or art house in their choice of films. No outrage at any of these worthy stars winning the award. So what is our special reservation and angst at Kaif winning the honour?”
She believes that the hatred against Kaif stems from a simple thing. Our perception of her:
"Is Katrina Kaif an easy target because she is a beautiful, hugely successful woman, who speaks with an accent, reeks of elitism and snobbery (though many who know her swear that she is by personality type intensely private, as a person), seems impermeable and most importantly just does not quit. She just sticks around with her accent, and apparently not great acting and just keeps getting better at dancing and developing more sculpted and developed abs.”
And lastly, asks a simple question:
“Would we still hate her as much if she were let’s see now... a smashingly good looking but below average talent male actor who was a big star? Because that's a long list too. Let’s face it beautiful, successful women who are entertainers are easier targets than their male counterparts.”
Miss Bhaskar signs off by asking us, the eternal Godfathers of internet, the consumers of “Bhai ki films” and our ilk a very simple question.
“Katrina Kaif may not be a great actress/artist, but do we as an audience value great acting or great art? Let's look at the blockbuster hits of the past few years and ask ourselves what do we choose to watch, and maybe that will tell us why some apparently 'bad actors' are such huge stars. We made them. So let's not grudge them.”
Well said, Ms. Bhaskar, well said indeed!
You can read her article here.
Title image: Wallpapersandbackgrounds