Saturday, June 5, 2010

IIFA madness has begun!


...And everyone has their own opinion. From those who would do just about anything anything under the sun to get in there to catch a glimpse - to those who couldn't care less or worse, hates the fact that The International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) is being hosted here in Sri Lanka.

After a number of run-up-to events, the IIFA awards ceremony will be held this evening at the well-readied Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium in Colombo.

One of the most talked about features were the price of tickets. They were priced between US$1,000 to US$10,000 which would convert to around Rs.200,000 to Rs.1,150,000 in the local currency, which in my opinion is simply untouchable to the normal folks such as moi ;) These tickets offered a whole package ranging from hotel accommodation to close contact with the VIPs. However, the latest turn of events have it that the organizers have introduced a low priced edition of tickets priced at Rs.25,000 for the back seats since yesterday (4th June). And for those interested, the news item goes on to say that these tickets are available at the Sri Lanka Tourist Board.

The 3 day long mega event that officially commenced on Thursday, 3rd June will end tonight (or little later hehe..) the 5th June. The biggest highlights so far were the Fashion shows and the friendly Cricket match. The fact that the son of the country's president - Namal Rajapakse was one of the opening batsmen was of much interest to those who don't even support the government a lot I bet. It was pretty interesting to watch the guy on the field and I must confess, we were busy glued to the TV than work, just for those few minutes :))

While all this was happening, another group of people were vehemently against IIFA being held in Sri Lanka. Some of those in the Tamil film industry are completely against this and the big names such as Rajnikanth, Kamal Hasan, Vikram, Ajit and Surya are publicly boycotting the event. Even Amitab Bhachchan - brand ambassador for IIFA is unable to attend the event, along with his famous family due to pressure from the Tamil film industry in India.

But this was not an issue to many and the "boycotting" soon lost its flavor. Salman Khan was rather explicit in stating that boycotting serves no purpose. He said, "We are here to help the people who are in crisis. Building walls serves no purpose. We should build bridges." He too said that Big B should have attended IIFA. He further said "This way we won't be able to visit Kashmir, Gujarat or Afghanistan. If our people are in difficulty we should not abandon them."

JP Dutta in a TV Interview said, "Boycott demand should have been made earlier. Demanding a boycott now is like asking a batsman not to play after the bowler has delivered the ball. IIFA has to play the shot now that the ball is delivered."

Shah Rukh Khan is also not attending, citing a busy schedule with his new picture and even otherwise, I won't blame the guy at all. Remember how we treated him the last time he came here? Let's not go there now shall we? It was shameful and those morons who even thought it was a very smart idea should realize it is because of individuals like THEM that our country is defamed.

So looking at all these, I think that having IIFA in Sri Lanka is definitely a big boost to the tourism industry here. It would send a very positive message to the world that says, "Hey, look, there IS no more war in Sri Lanka and it IS safe." Which is true. As you know I've been to Jaffna last week and it was amazing. Despite the killer heat and humidity, I loved every bit of it because it is part of my country that the majority of us didn't even dream that was possible to visit in our lifetime. Okay that story later!

What I was saying was that, if those folks who are boycotting IIFA think that they are doing a major deal to bring awareness to the suffering Tamils in Srilanka... they've got their wires crossed! If Mia thinks that she can sing hate songs and ask people to support a terrorist group, yeah that's first class stupidity. How do those people even IMAGINE what's going on in a place that they haven't even set foot on? Er... Photos? Videos? Written articles? Hearsay? My best friends aunt's cousin's sister told me so? What a joke! I tell them, COME AND SEE. See with your own eyes. Hear with your own ears. Witness.... Witness how it was, what lead to the war and what we are doing now to prevent a misfortune such as that from happening again.

I am pretty much aware of the reasons behind the war. Our former governments (both sides alike) did not tackle some of the most simple reasons that lead to the war. First and foremost, the language issue. There are loads of other issues that would've been easily solved and they didn't. Who payed the price? Innocent civilians of all races, Tamil, Sinhala, Muslim, Burgher etc. But now that we are being known to have peace instead of war... prosperity instead of poverty... new beginnings instead of death... IIFA is a wonderful platform to start upon. Not only for the government and the business community, but for all of us. It is each of our duty to let the world know, through positive communication and outlook the changes here.

Sri Lanka is one of the most amazing countries. For a tiny island that's about 25,000 square miles such as ours, we have so much history, heritage, natural resources and amazing sights! We have people of various religions, races and sub cultures. Our people are talented in dance, music, art and various other artistic forms. For such a tiny island, we are so diverse. But isn't that exactly what makes us so much more amazing and unique? This is what 'foreigners' should experience. This is why they should come to Sri Lanka. And like popular Srilankan Cricketer Kumar Sangakkara said at IIFA, remember we are "One country, One people."

IIFA is a stepping stone. Let the journeys begin.

1 comment:

  1. Okay... I agree this put Sri Lanka on the map(well... at-least now they know it exists) the thing is I don't see the point in spending so much for such a little outcome, no... seriously does anybody even talk about it now???(I had forgotten it happen till I saw this article).

    as to the war, well its not over to say the least,the end of the civil war just might have given birth to a whole new type of battle the civilence have to go thought(corruption, price hikes to name a few)...

    the thing is nothing is going to happen till Sri Lanka unites, citizen-to-citizen.